Highly pathogenic avian influenza,
United States of America
Information received on 16/12/2014 from Dr John Clifford, Official Delegate, Chief Trade Advisor, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, United States Department of Agriculture, Washington, United States of America
Report type Immediate notification
Date of start of the event 10/12/2014
Date of confirmation of the event 14/12/2014
Report date 16/12/2014
Date submitted to OIE 16/12/2014
Date event resolved 22/07/2015
Reason for notification Recurrence of a listed disease
Date of previous occurrence 2004
Manifestation of disease Clinical disease
Causal agent Highly pathogenic avian influenza virus
Serotype H5N8
Nature of diagnosis Laboratory (advanced)
This event pertains to a defined zone within the country
Related reports Immediate notification (16/12/2014)
Follow-up report No. 1 (19/12/2014)
Follow-up report No. 2 (29/12/2014)
Follow-up report No. 3 (07/01/2015)
Follow-up report No. 4 (22/01/2015)
Follow-up report No. 5 (25/01/2015)
Follow-up report No. 6 (03/02/2015)
Follow-up report No. 7 (13/02/2015)
Follow-up report No. 8 (25/02/2015)
Follow-up report No. 9 (05/03/2015)
Follow-up report No. 10 (20/03/2015)
Follow-up report No. 11 (31/03/2015)
Follow-up report No. 12 (22/04/2015)
Follow-up report No. 13 (21/05/2015)
Follow-up report No. 14 (09/06/2015)
Follow-up report No. 15 (16/06/2015)
Follow-up report No. 16 (22/07/2015)
Follow-up report No. 17 (17/08/2015)
New outbreaks (1)
Outbreak 1 Whatcom County, Whatcom, Washington
Date of start of the outbreak 10/12/2014
Outbreak status Resolved (10/03/2015)
Epidemiological unit Not applicable
Affected animals
Species Susceptible Cases Deaths Killed and disposed of Slaughtered
Gyrfalcon:Falco rusticolus(Falconidae)
Affected population Captive wild gyrfalcon
Summary of outbreaks Total outbreaks: 1
Total animals affected
Species Susceptible Cases Deaths Killed and disposed of Slaughtered
Gyrfalcon:Falco rusticolus(Falconidae) **
Outbreak statistics
Species Apparent morbidity rate Apparent mortality rate Apparent case fatality rate Proportion susceptible animals lost*
Gyrfalcon:Falco rusticolus(Falconidae) ** ** ** **
*Removed from the susceptible population through death, destruction and/or slaughter
**Not calculated because of missing information
Source of the outbreak(s) or origin of infection
  • Contact with wild species
Epidemiological comments As a precaution and in response to the recent HPAI outbreak in Canada, surveillance of poultry premises and of wild bird mortality events was enhanced by the USDA, and State personnel along the United States - Canadian Border. Through this surveillance, highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) H5 was identified in wild birds. Two serotypes were identified on enhanced surveillance, both with amino acid sequence at the HA cleavage site consistent with HPAI, H5N8 and H5N2. H5N8 was identified in a captive wild gyrfalcon that was fed hunter killed wild birds from Whatcom County, Washington and H5N2 was identified in a wild pintail duck also from Whatcom County, Washington. Based upon direct sequencing from gyrfalcon specimens, an avian influenza subtype H5N8 of Eurasian lineage (partial H5 99% similarity to A/coot/Korea/H81/2014 and partial N8 99% similarity to A/Baikal teal/Korea/H41/2014). The amino acid sequence at the hemagglutinin cleavage site is consistent with highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI). Preliminary data suggests that these virus strains (H5N2 and H5N8) may be related with the H5N8 strain potentially representing the progenitor; however further analysis is needed. Neither of these viruses has been found in any poultry in the United States. These H5N8 and H5N2 detections involve only wild birds. Further investigation and characterization of the HPAI viruses is ongoing.
Control measures
Measures applied
  • Vaccination prohibited
  • No treatment of affected animals
Measures to be applied
  • No other measures
Diagnostic test results
Laboratory name and type Species Test Test date Result
National Veterinary Services Laboratories (NVSL) (National laboratory) Gyrfalcon gene sequencing Pending
National Veterinary Services Laboratories (NVSL) (National laboratory) Gyrfalcon haemagglutination (HA) test 14/12/2014 Positive
National Veterinary Services Laboratories (NVSL) (National laboratory) Gyrfalcon real-time reverse transcriptase/polymerase chain reaction (RRT-PCR) 14/12/2014 Positive
National Veterinary Services Laboratories (NVSL) (National laboratory) Gyrfalcon virus isolation 15/12/2014 Positive
Future Reporting
The event is continuing. Weekly follow-up reports will be submitted.
Map of outbreak locations