Since the first case of a highly pathogenic avian influenza was discovered in Pennsylvania, Penn Vet’s New Bolton Center has been busy doing diagnostic work to try to better understand the virus, writes Katherine Unger Baillie for Penn Today News.
The outbreak of the H5N1 HPAI strain has affected more than 50 million birds. This number surpassed the 2014-15 HPAI outbreak, which at the time was considered to be the biggest animal health emergency in the U.S. based on the number of affected birds.
Penn’s School of Veterinary Medicine has increased its HPAI-related diagnostics work done at Pennsylvania Animal Diagnostic Laboratory System on the New Bolton Center campus in Kennett Square.
Before the latest viral strain had even arrived in the Keystone State, the laboratory was already stockpiling supplies to have enough to run a minimum of 500 samples a day.
After some of their birds tested positive, a number of Pennsylvania farms were forced to cull all their birds just ahead of Thanksgiving, “at the worst possible time,” said Lisa Murphy, who heads the PADLS laboratory.
Read more about the New Bolton Center at Penn Today News.