Wisconsin Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory Avian Flu Testing
In the spring and summer of 2015, there was an outbreak of H5N2, a strain of highly pathogenic avian influenza, in several counties in Wisconsin. This virus had a large effect on the American agricultural economy, causing increased food costs. The Wisconsin Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory (WVDL) provided testing services to assist poultry producers, and both commercial and private flock owners. The entire laboratory assisted with the response to the outbreak but the actual testing for the virus was performed in the virology section, led by virology section head Kathy Toohey-Kurth. WVDL tested birds in collaboration with the United States Department of Agriculture and the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection.