Knowing The Risks: New tool could help slow the spread of HPAI as new cases emerge

More cases of High Pathogenic Avian Influenza have been reported in several states.

In Missouri, nearly 20,000 birds were hit at a commercial turkey facility. About that same number was lost at a commercial game bird operation in Colorado. Indiana is reporting its first case since September in a commercial turkey flock. In Iowa, which has been hit hard this month, reported another outbreak in the western part of the state. So far, more than 53 million birds have been lost this year due to HPAI.

A risk assessment tool could soon be available to producers as they look to shield their operations from the virus. The Veterinary Services Division of USDA says it is currently analyzing data and hopes to have a complete risk assessment tool available in the coming months.

Experts hope it will be able to answer producers’ questions about the virus’ spread and help prevent further outbreaks. This tool will look at all aspects of outbreaks this season such as bird type, location, and animal housing.

“We’re in the midst of doing an analysis of all the data we’ve collected on the affected facilities to make some statements about the level of risk, and what factors that create a higher level of risk. So we want them to be able to take actions that truly do reduce their risk,” said Dr. Rosemary Sifford.

Dr. Sifford says one thing is sure, that if you raise turkeys, you are at higher risk of an outbreak.

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