HPAI update

August 24, 2023

APHIS continues to hold monthly calls with poultry group executives to provide timely briefings on the HPAI outbreak. Between July 25 and Aug. 2, three live bird markets in New York tested positive for HPAI. This brings total detections for the 2022-2023 outbreak to 839 in 47 states. The live bird markets (LBM) were near each other, and tracebacks to the suppliers have yielded no additional positive birds. APHIS is currently working on biosecurity training, which will include suppliers, for the LBM systems soon. Prior to the LBM detections, the last commercial detection was on April 19. Throughout the ongoing outbreak, 37 states reported positives in World Organization for Animal Health (WOAH) poultry flocks. To date, 34 states have been able to self-declare HPAI-free due to no recent positives. With the identification of HPAI in the LBM system, everyone must remain vigilant with biosecurity protocols as fall rapidly approaches.

Overall, wild bird detections have remained low in 2023. APHIS has begun its 2023-2024 sampling activities across all four flyways in the lower 48 states. The agency plans to sample over 42,000 wild waterfowl as part of this surveillance. Of the more than 4,500 samples that have been collected to date, many have been positive for Influenza A virus but not HPAI. However, the migration from the breeding zones has yet to begin across the country. In addition to the lower 48 samplings, the agency is conducting enhanced sampling in Alaska that will take 2,900 samples, including blood, to evaluate overall immunity in those waterfowl.

On the global front, detections continue in Canada, and mammal die-offs have been reported in seals from Peru and in coastal Siberia, with dead shore birds also noted in that area. Some raptor detections are being seen in South America, and detections in domestic cats in South Korea continue with suspicion. Domestic cat detections may be linked to raw pet food containing the HPAI virus. The agency continues to recommend reinforcement of biosecurity programs and protocols to protect U.S. commercial flocks. APHIS continues to maintain its level of preparedness to react to any positive premises if and when detections ramp up. Producers should be on high alert as September approaches and teals rapidly move south.