Low pathogenic bird flu confirmed: Montana

The US Departments of Agriculture and the Interior reported over the weekend that testing on samples collected from wild Northern pintail ducks in Montana confirmed the presence of a low pathogenic H5 avian influenza virus.

The agencies stressed that low pathogenic bird flu has been detected in birds in other states and is not a direct risk to human health.
Initial test results announced last month indicated the presence of avian influenza in the Montana samples, but further testing was necessary to confirm the subtype and pathogenicity of the virus.
These tests ruled out the possibility that the samples carried the dangerous, highly pathogenic H5N1 strain of the virus. Highly pathogenic strains - including H5N1, which is circulating in parts of Asia, Europe and Africa - can be fatal to birds and humans.
The World Health Organisation reports that 148 people have died from bird flu infections, from a total of 252 human cases.
Although the low pathogenic virus poses no direct threat to human health, USDA policy is to attempt to contain the strain - in case of a mutation into highly pathogenic avian flu, and because the presence of any strain of avian influenza can affect trade.

Editor WorldPoultry

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