The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) has confirmed highly pathogenic Eurasian H5 bird flu (HPAI) in a wild American vie in Colleton County, South Carolina.
Eurasian H5 HPAI has not been detected in a wild bird in the United States since 2016.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention considers the risk to the general public from HPAI H5 infections to be low. No human infections with Eurasian H5 viruses have occurred in the United States. As a reminder, proper handling and preparation of poultry and eggs to an internal temperature of 165˚F kills bacteria and viruses, including HPAI.
Since wild birds can become infected with these viruses without appearing ill, people should minimize direct contact with wild birds by wearing gloves. If contact occurs, wash your hands with soap and water and change clothes before coming into contact with healthy domestic poultry and birds. Hunters should dress game birds in the field whenever possible and practice good biosecurity to prevent possible disease spread.
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Avian influenza (AI) is caused by an influenza type A virus, which can infect poultry (such as chickens, turkeys, pheasants, quail, domestic ducks, geese and guinea fowl) and is carried by free-flying waterfowl such as ducks, geese and shorebirds. AI viruses are classified by a combination of two groups of proteins: hemagglutinin or “H” proteins, of which there are 16 (H1-H16), and neuraminidase or “N” proteins, of which there are 9 (N1-N9) ). Many different combinations of “H” and “N” proteins are possible. Each combination is considered a different subtype and can be further subdivided into different strains, which circulate within flight paths / geographical areas. AI viruses are further classified according to their pathogenicity (low or high) – the ability of a particular virus strain to produce disease in domestic chickens.
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