http://www.digitaljournal.com/news/environment/usda-bird-flu-strain-that-hit-usa-last-year-found-in-wild-duck/article/473364

USDA: Bird flu strain that hit U.S. last year found in wild duck

Posted Aug 26, 2016 by Karen Graham
The same strain of avian flu virus that led to the deaths of 50 million chickens and turkeys in the U.S. last year has been found in the country for the first time in nearly 14 months, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Various ducks
Various ducks
The virus was found in a wild duck in Alaska, as part of a routine surveillance program conducted by the USDA that has been going on since last year's devastating outbreak. The outbreak strain, H5N2 has not been found in any wild birds since last June, reports Reuters.
The discovery of H5N2 in a wild bird in Alaska is of great geographical importance because Alaska, our most northern state, lies within the migratory routes of birds that move between North America and Asia. And because of these routes, Alaska is the most likely location for the introduction of foreign-origin avian diseases, according to U.S. Geological Survey (USGS).
Alaska’s position within migratory bird flyways of the Pacific Basin.  Alaska is an international ...
Alaska’s position within migratory bird flyways of the Pacific Basin. Alaska is an international crossroads for millions of migratory birds that journey each spring from wintering areas in Asia, Russia, South America, and Australasia.
USGS
The USDA is recommending that farmers and companies engaged in poultry production renew their protocols for cleaning and security to ensure the health of their birds. It is important to note that wild birds can carry the avian flu virus without showing any signs of illness.
Low Pathogenic H5N1 strain identified in U.S. and Canada
In related news, a low-pathogenic H5 avian influenza outbreak struck a duck farm near St. Catharines in southern Ontario, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) reported on July 8, 2016. The farm was quarantined and the agency supervised the cleaning and disinfection of the barns, equipment, and other materials being used.
And in the U.S., on July 18, the Low-pathogenic H5 avian influenza was been found in live-bird markets in Pennsylvania, New York, and New Jersey. The USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), said finding low pathogenic avian influenza isn't uncommon in backyard flocks and live bird markets. But the USDA also said that the mixing of birds from different flocks is a good way for the virus to not only spread, but undergo genetic adaptation.
Colorized transmission electron micrograph of Avian influenza A H5N1 viruses
Colorized transmission electron micrograph of Avian influenza A H5N1 viruses
Cynthia Goldsmith
The H5N1 avian influenza (AI) strain is divided into two strains, depending on their ability to cause disease. One is the low pathogenic (LPAI) and the other is highly pathogenic (HPAI). HPAI H5N1, often referred to as the "Asian" H5N1, is of worldwide concern and kills many chickens and turkeys.
LPAI H5N1, often referred to as the "North American" H5N1, is of less concern, but still worrisome. Since 2006, in the United States, all confirmed LPAI H5 and H7 AI subtypes must be reported to the World Organization for Animal Health simply because of the ability of these viruses to mutate into very virulent strains, The USDA now requires the same reporting protocol.