In April 2014 an outbreak of low pathogenic avian influenza H5N8 North American genetic lineage was diagnosed in a commercial quail operation in Stanislaus County, California. Sudden increase in mortality prompted the submission of 20 Japanese quail hens (Coturnix c. japonica) to the California Animal Health and Food Safety Laboratory, Turlock Branch. Oropharyngeal and cloacal swabs tested positive for influenza A virus H5N8 by real-time reverse transcription–polymerase chain reaction. The virus was subsequently isolated. In vivo assay and sequencing of the hemagglutinin protein cleavage site classified the virus as a North American genetic lineage of low pathogenicity for chickens. Following the diagnosis, a rapid and coordinated response took place to contain the outbreak. The affected premise was depopulated, cleaned, and disinfected. Three areas from the affected premises—a 3 kilometer (km) radius (High Risk Zone), a 3–10 km area (Buffer Zone), and a 10–20 km (Surveillance Zone)—were established for avian influenza testing of commercial and noncommercial poultry operations. Surveillance testing and rapid control measures were successful in the control and eradication of the outbreak and revealed no area of spread of the virus from the index flock. This report describes the history, diagnosis, surveillance, and control measures applied to manage this outbreak.
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Vol. 59 • No. 2