South Dakota Avian Flu Outbreak

H5N2 Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) has been found in 6 commercial turkey grower farms in 6 eastern South Dakota counties since April 1, 2015.  Approximately 350,000 turkeys have been destroyed at these sites.  A rapid increase in daily mortalities (10x normal) in a single barn has been the first sign noticed at each farm.

All poultry premises within a 10km (6 mi) radius of the affected farms have been quarantined in a ‘control zone’.  All species of poultry on these premises have been sampled and tested negative.  No HPAI has been found outside of the affected farms.  Barns at affected premises have been or are in the process of being thoroughly cleaned and disinfected.  Quarantines will remain in place on the affected farms and in the control zones until laboratory testing on environmental samples collected from the barns can demonstrate that the virus is no longer present.

Anyone with knowledge or suspicion of poultry with signs compatible with HPAI should immediately notify the State Veterinarian by calling 605-773-3321.  Qualifying participants in the National Poultry Improvement Plan (NPIP) are eligible for federal indemnity when HPAI is found.  The indemnity value of a flock is established by USDA APHIS based on the age of birds and live inventory on the day of laboratory confirmation, so an early report will yield the best indemnity payment.  There is no penalty for a false alarm – if you think you may be seeing early signs of AI, call right away.  Early detection of the disease will yield the best possible outcome for disease control.

Dustin Oedekoven, DVM
State Veterinarian and Executive Secretary
South Dakota Animal Industry Board

*Photo courtesy www.cdc.gov