Apr 21, 2015

Wisconsin Declares Bird Flu Emergency - NBC News

Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker declared a state of emergency Monday because of an outbreak of H5N2 bird flu that kills poultry, activating the state's National Guard to help fight the infection.

Wisconsin is one of about a dozen U.S. states to be hit by the highly pathogenic strain of H5N2, which experts believe is spread by migrating waterfowl. Canada has been affected, also.

The virus has been found in three Wisconsin poultry flocks, affecting tens of thousands of chickens and turkeys. It can sweep through commercial flocks, wiping them out in days.

"We must act quickly and efficiently to contain the outbreak and protect domestic poultry," Walker said in a statement. "It is important to note, however, there is no threat to humans with the avian flu outbreak."

"There is no threat to humans with the avian flu outbreak."

There are dozens of strains of avian influenza, many of which don't cause severe symptoms in birds. But highly pathogenic strains can wipe out flocks of valuable commercial poultry and spread quickly, so outbreaks mean flocks must be destroyed.