USDA and Department of the Interior officials announced a detection of low pathogenic H5 and N1 avian influenza subtypes in samples in migratory Green-winged Teals in Illinois. Initial tests show the wild duck samples do not contain H5N1, the highly pathogenic strain that spread though birds in Asia, Europe and Africa.
Low pathogenic avian influenza poses no direct threat to human health and commonly occurs in wild birds. It typically causes only minor sickness or no noticeable symptoms in birds. However, USDA policy is to eradicate the viruses to prevent them from mutating into dangerous highly pathogenic strains, and because the presence of low pathogenic avian flu in domestic birds could negatively affect trade.
Officials collected the low pathogenic avian influenza samples in the Rice Lake Conservation Area of Fulton County, Illinois, as part of an expanded wild bird monitoring system in cooperation with the Illinois Department of Natural Resources.