What were the lessons learned from the “deadliest outbreak in U.S. history?”
Nationwide, nearly 60 million birds are dead because of High Path Avian Flu, and animal health officials are continuing to study what is now the deadliest outbreak in U.S. history.
However, leaders at APHIS say that producer improvements to biosecurity after the 2015 outbreak have helped the situation.
According to Kevin Shea, “85% of the detections have been new, fresh injects from wild birds. In 2015, the ratio was probably opposite, where the detections were because of lateral spread farm to farm. Is it enough? Obviously not, but it has been so good that we have the largest outbreak we’ve ever had, but it would have been exponentially catastrophic if the biosecurity practices and plans— if we didn’t have all that in place, I don’t know where we would be.”
During the 2015 outbreak, hundreds of millions of dollars were spent on contractors to clean facilities after a case was detected. USDA then worked to train and pay the producers themselves to do the cleaning.