Dogs carrying the flu and a Salmonella outbreak advisory

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board of animal health

Animal Bytes

June 2018

Invasive tick confirmed in fourth state since 2017

Closeup image of longhorned tick

Earlier this month, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) National Veterinary Services Laboratory (NVSL) confirmed the Longhorned tick (Haemaphysalis longicornis) in Arkansas on a dog in Benton County.

The USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is investigating the case. The Longhorned tick is native to the South Pacific, New Zealand and Australia. It's a known vector for bacterial and viral tickborne diseases of animals and humans in its native countries. It's a concerning discovery in the U.S. because infestations may cause stunted growth, decreased production and livestock deaths.

This tick is known to infest a wide range of species including wildlife, humans, companion animals, and livestock. It has also been discovered in New Jersey, Virginia and West Virginia. There are no known direct links between the cases in Arkansas, West Virginia, Virginia, or New Jersey.

Producers and veterinarians should work together to develop a tick prevention and control program for their livestock.

Keep reading our other important updates...

USDA Confirms Additional Case of Virulent Newcastle Disease in Backyard Birds in California

APHIS confirmed an additional case of virulent Newcastle disease in backyard exhibition chickens in San Bernardino County, California last week. Federal and State partners are conducting additional surveillance and testing in the area.

Click here for a complete list of confirmed cases.

All of the recent cases have occured in backyard poultry. 2003 was the last time virulent Newcastle disease was found in U.S. commercial poultry.

Poultry and poultry products are safe to eat, and no human cases of Newcastle disease have ever occurred from eating poultry products.

All poultry owners should practice good biosecurity and report sick birds or unusual bird deaths to animal health officials. Additional information on biosecurity for backyard flocks can be found at Biosecurity for Birds.

CDC Salmonella outbreak advisory

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and multiple states are investigating outbreaks of Salmonella infections linked to contact with live poultry in backyard flocks. Several different types of Salmonella bacteria have made people sick. Here's a quick summary of the event:

  • 124 people infected.
  • 36 states.
  • Illnesses ranging from February 2, 2018 to May 14, 2018.
  • 21 people hospitalized, and no deaths have been reported.
  • 31 percent of ill people are children.
  • Outbreaks linked to contact with live poultry, such as chicks and ducklings, which come from multiple hatcheries.

The Minnesota Department of Health recommends following these tips (click here for the full list) to stay healthy with your backyard flock:

  1. Be aware of the risks.
  2. Keep poultry in their place, not yours.
  3. Wash your hands.
  4. Purchase poultry only from licensed dealers.
  5. Keep your birds healthy.

Click here to visit the CDC's website dedicated to this outbreak.

Dogs can be potential flu reservoir

A recently published study demonstrated influenza virus can jump from pigs into canines and that influenza is becoming increasingly diverse in dogs.

"The majority of pandemics have been associated with pigs as an intermediate host between avian viruses and human hosts. In this study, we identified influenza viruses jumping from pigs into dogs," said study investigator Adolfo García-Sastre.

Click this link to review a summary or read the full study.