On March 5, 2017, USDA confirmed highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) H7 in a commercial poultry flock along the Mississippi Flyway. This HPAI H7 strain is of North American wild bird origin. And on March 7, 2017, USDA’s National Veterinary Services Laboratories (NVSL) confirmed the full subtype of this HPAI H7 as North American wild bird lineage H7N9 HPAI. This finding is based upon full genome sequence analysis of the samples at the NVSL. All eight gene segments of the virus are North American wild bird lineage. This is NOT the same as the China H7N9 virus that has impacted poultry and infected humans in Asia. While the subtype is the same as the China H7N9 lineage that emerged in 2013, this is a different virus and is genetically distinct from the China H7N9 lineage.
USDA last confirmed several cases of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) H5 in the Pacific, Central, and Mississippi flyways (or migratory bird paths) during winter 2014/spring 2015. During that time, HPAI H5 was found in wild birds, a few backyard flocks as well as commercial poultry flocks in these flyways.
USDA has both an international and a domestic role in controlling the spread of avian influenza (AI) and reducing its effects on both agriculture and public health. USDA is aware of and prepared for the emergence of new types of AI virus. The nature of the influenza virus is such that mutations occur easily. Therefore, new strains can occur naturally at any time within avian hosts. The concern is whether the changes would impart the potential to cause severe disease or increase transmissibility between birds or mammals. Regardless of these changes, the USDA plans that are currently in place, which include surveillance, reporting, biosecurity, movement control, vaccination and depopulation, can be adjusted and applied to effectively control any new virus outbreak.
For an update on avian influenza findings, view the Avian Influenza Disease website.
Other helpful resources include:
- Officials Confident that Tennessee Bird Flu Situation Has Been Contained (03/06/2017)
- Fast Action May Have Averted a Major Bird Flu Outbreak (03/06/2017)
- U.S. Awaits Reactions by Foreign Poultry Buyers to Bird Flu Find (03/06/2017)
- High Path Avian Influenza Confirmed in Tennessee Commercial Flock (03/06/2017)
- Fall 2015 HPAI Influenza Preparedness and Response Plan (PDF, 510 KB)
- How Avian Influenza Vaccine is Developed Fact Sheet (PDF, 128 KB) (Updated: May 2015)
- MAPS: 2012 Census of Agriculture Poultry Maps
Questions and Answers
- UPDATED: Biology of Avian Influenza and Recent Outbreaks (PDF, 190 KB)
- Border Protection and Trade (PDF, 138 KB)
- Food Safety and Avian Influenza (PDF, 130 KB)
- Protecting Birds from Avian Influenza (PDF, 166 KB)
- Protect Your Birds From Avian Influenza (PDF, 2.5 MB)
- 2017 Avian Influenza Surveillance Plan (PDF, 1.5 MB)
- Avian Influenza - USDA Efforts and Response (PDF, 4.1 MB)
- En Español: Influenza Aviar Preparativos y Respuesta del USDA (PDF, 229 KB)
- Avian Influenza-USDA Efforts and Response - Vietnamese (PDF, 272 KB)
- Imports of Legal Birds and Bird Products (PDF, 347 KB)
- USDA: Keep Bird Flu out of the U.S. (PDF, 127 KB)
- CBP Poster: Avian: Don't Smuggle Me... I Could be Sick (PDF, 490 KB)
- Avian: Bird Flu What You Need To Know (PDF, 63 KB)
Video and Audio
- We have the power (60 seconds) (MP3, 955 KB)
- We have the power (30 seconds) (MP3, 480 KB)
- Get The Facts (30 seconds) (MP3, 500 KB)