Highly-pathogenic Avian Influenza in the U.S.
“On 16 December 2014, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) reported the detection of highly-pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) H5N8 and H5N2 in wild birds from Whatcom County, Washington. The primary concern with avian influenza (AI), especially HPAI, is the potential for human infection and economic consequence from infection in domestic poultry. Notification of HPAI anywhere in the U.S. would likely lead to several international markets blocking U.S. poultry imports, thus significantly impacting trade and international commerce. The export market for poultry products contributes billions of dollars to the U.S. economy annually. This virus has not been found in U.S. domestic poultry in the current outbreak and is only in wild birds. There have been no human infections within the U.S. associated with this incident so there is no immediate public health concern. “