According to the February 3, 2015, issue of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC’s) Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, the U.S. Department of Agriculture has reported the first cases of highly pathogenic avian influenza A (HPAI) in wild or domestic birds found in the United States. Of the 14 recorded incidents, seven were associated with H5N2, six with H5N8 and one with H5N1. The detections occurred in the northwestern states of California, Idaho, Oregon, Utah, and Washington and involved five domestic “backyard” flocks, two captive wild birds and seven wild aquatic birds.
“Until more is known about these viruses, CDC is taking a cautious approach, and recommendations are largely consistent with guidance for influenza viruses associated with severe diseases in humans,” notes CDC. “State health departments are encouraged to investigate all possible human infections with HPAI H5 virus and should notify CDC promptly when testing for influenza in persons with [influenza-like illness] who have been exposed to birds possibly infected with these viruses.”