Minnesota Flock Owners needed for Avian Influenza Study

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by VetChick, Aug 27, 2008.

  1. VetChick

    VetChick New Egg

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    Jul 2, 2008
    South St Paul, MN
    I'm a vet student at the University of Minnesota. We are looking for flock owners who would be willing to let us take blood samples from 11-15 birds and complete a 20 minute survey. We are looking to find out more about low pathogenic strains of avian influenza, which crop up in Minnesota from time to time. (To date, there has not been any high path H5N1 found in the US). If we find a positive flock, we would ask the owner for a blood sample. This is a CDC-funded project, and one of the goals is to see if humans can make antibodies to low path AI. So far, we have tested 28 flocks, and all were negative.

    For more info, please contact me. Thanks for your help!

    -Stephanie Yendell
    [email protected]
     
  2. pipermark

    pipermark Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 26, 2007
    Arkansas
    One would imagine you would get a quicker response from a local source. Also , you might have to give some reassurances that their entire flock wont be destroyed if you find, what is a common aliment, bird flu, usually carried and spread by water fowl, so I would try to find flocks along flyways.
     
  3. VetChick

    VetChick New Egg

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    Jul 2, 2008
    South St Paul, MN
    Thanks for the suggestions. We have also been advertising through local newspapers, feed stores, etc. Just trying to spread the word as many ways as we can think of.

    The concern over flocks being destroyed is a common one. Participation in the study is confidential, so no flock owner's name would be connected with the results.

    The Minnesota Board of Animal Health is a co-sponsor of the study, so they would be notified if we were to find a positive flock. Their past response to low path avian influenza has been quite mild, but they may work with the flock owner to make sure the virus does not spread. In the rare case that an H5 or H7 strain of the virus is identified, euthanasia and compensation may be recommended or mandated.

    Anyone participating in the study is informed in the potential response. Thus far, the flock owners we have worked with are glad to have the peace of mind to know that their flocks have not been exposed to avian influenza, and to help us learn more about influenza viruses.

    The fact that we've had 28 negative flocks out of 28 tested is interesting in itself- it contradicts the perception by commercial producers that backyard flocks are constantly spreading avian influenza. We've also been getting valuable information about management practices through our survey.

    Again, I'd be happy to answer any questions that people may have.

    Stephanie Yendell
     

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