Illinois bird flu is low pathogenic
The US Department of Agriculture and Department of the
Interior have announced that final test results confirm that the avian influenza
strain found in Illinois Green-winged Teal samples is a low pathogenic variety.
The USDA National Veterinary Services
(NVSL) confirmed the presence of H6N2 through virus isolation
in a pool of five samples of the 11 samples collected from wild Green-winged
Teals in Fulton County, Illinois. Initial screening results announced late last
month indicated that H5 and N1 avian
subtypes might be present in the collected samples.
The initial rapid screening tests are highly sensitive and can detect
active and inactive viruses in samples, so it is not uncommon to have positive
results for a specific subtype on the initial screen test and yet not be able to
isolate a virus of that subtype. This was the case for these samples, which
tested as a weak positive for both H5 and N1 in the initial screen tests. During
confirmatory testing, H5 and N1 subtypes were not found but instead H6 and N2,
confirming that the virus is LPAI.
Low pathogenic avian influenza does not pose a risk to human health and is
commonly found in wild North American birds.
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