Infectious Diseases 2006

Infectious Diseases 2006

Avian influenza tests complete on Maryland resident wild mallard ducks

14 September, 2006

The U.S. Departments of Agriculture and Interior today announced final test results, which confirm that an H5N1 avian influenza virus detected in fecal samples collected last month from resident wild mallard ducks in Maryland is a low pathogenic subtype. This strain has been detected several times in wild birds in North America and poses no threat to human health.
The USDA National Veterinary Services Laboratories (NVSL) confirmed the presence of the "North American strain" of low pathogenic H5N1 avian influenza through virus isolation in samples collected from the resident wild mallards in Queen Anne's County, Maryland. Test results announced on September 1 indicated that an H5N1 avian influenza subtype was present in nine of the collected samples, but further testing was necessary to confirm pathogenicity. As previously announced, genetic testing ruled out the possibility that the samples carried the specific highly pathogenic strain of H5N1 avian influenza that is circulating overseas (See also: AI in Pennsylvania; AI in Michigan).