US to change AI reporting rules
Following the latest negative bird flu test result in
Ohio, the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) and Department of the Interior
(DOI) are changing the US protocol for reporting avian influenza
The mass media will only be informed of outbreaks of bird
if initial tests involve a significant number of sick or dead birds, or
if there are other circumstances that suggest that the avian influenza subtypes
found are highly pathogenic.
In other cases where low-pathogenic AI is suspected, cases will be listed
on the Internet.
To date, the USDA
have publicly announced 12 cases of potential
high-pathogenic H5N1 in six states, all of which were found to be low-pathogenic
or completely negative for the virus through confirmatory testing.
In a joint statement, the agencies said that the new reporting rules were
being put in place because â€œLPAI H5N1 detections are common and pose no threat
to human healthâ€.
The USDA National Veterinary Services Laboratories
confirmed that there was no avian influenza present in samples collected from
wild Northern pintail ducks in Ottawa County, Ohio. Initial screening results
announced on 14 October indicated that H5 and N1 subtypes might be present
in the collected samples, but further testing was necessary to confirm the H and
N subtypes as well as pathogenicity.
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