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California Department of Food and Agriculture

Avian Influenza     En EspaÑol


Low Pathogenicity Avian Influenza (LPAI) Detected in Stanislaus County, California (April 2014)


April 2014: Low pathogenicity avian influenza was detected in a commercial Japanese Quail layer flock experiencing increased mortality in the adult laying population. The California Animal Health and Food Safety (CAHFS) Laboratory System identified avian influenza in samples from sick birds on April 18, 2014. The infection was confirmed by the United States Department of Agriculture's (USDA) National Veterinary Services Laboratory as influenza A virus subtype H5N8, and reported to OIE on April 22, 2014. The strain is compatible with North American low pathogenicity avian influenza virus. The source of the virus has not been determined, but transmission from wild birds in the area was most likely a factor.

The California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) quarantined the index premises and two epidemiologically linked (epi-linked) premises. Environmental and individual bird samples were collected from the two epi-linked premises once a week over the course of four weeks. All samples tested negative for the influenza virus, and the two epi-linked premises were released from quarantine as of May 17th, 2014. The two epi-linked premises continue to operate business, but with increased biosecurity measures and restrictions of animal and material movement.

The affected premises housed approximately 95,000 quail and 21,000 ducks. All the birds were humanely euthanized and their products destroyed to prevent the spread of infection. The premises has been cleaned and disinfected, and birds have been restocked on the facility. CDFA personnel sampled birds 30 days after restocking to ensure that the avian influenza virus was no longer present. All tests came back negative for influenza A virus and the premises has been released from quarantine.

Personnel from CDFA and USDA Animal Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) continue to conduct surveillance monitoring. At-risk flocks have also been tested and other poultry farms in the area were informed about the incident and urged to enhance their biosecurity. Outreach materials were provided to local feedstores, pet stores, farm bureaus, FFA and 4-H groups. To date, all testing on poultry in the area has been negative for influenza A virus.