Avian influenza reaches Michigan and Delaware

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Poultry barn
(Farm and Dairy file photo)

WASHINGTON — The United States Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service has confirmed the presence of highly pathogenic avian influenza in a non-commercial backyard flock (nonpoultry) in Kalamazoo County, Michigan, and commercial poultry flock in New Castle County, Delaware.

Michigan

Samples from the Michigan flock were tested at the Michigan State University Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory, part of the National Animal Health Laboratory Network, and confirmed at the APHIS National Veterinary Services Laboratories in Ames, Iowa. APHIS is working closely with state animal health officials in Michigan on a joint incident response.

State officials quarantined the affected premises, and birds on the property will be depopulated to prevent the spread of the disease. Birds from the flock will not enter the food system.

Delaware

Samples from the flock were tested at the University of Delaware’s Allen Laboratory in Newark, part of the National Animal Health Laboratory Network, and confirmed at the APHIS National Veterinary Services Laboratories.

APHIS is working closely with state animal health officials in Delaware on a joint incident response.

State officials quarantined the affected premises, and birds on the property will be depopulated to prevent the spread of the disease. Birds from the flock will not enter the food system.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the recent HPAI detections do not present an immediate public health concern. No human cases of these avian influenza viruses have been detected in the United States. As a reminder, the proper handling and cooking of poultry and eggs to an internal temperature of 165 degrees kills bacteria and viruses.

In addition to practicing good biosecurity, all bird owners should prevent contact between their birds and wild birds and report sick birds or unusual bird deaths to state/federal officials, either through their state veterinarian or through APHIS’ toll-free number at 866-536-7593.

APHIS urges producers to consider bringing birds indoors when possible to further prevent exposures. The Animal Health Protection Act authorizes APHIS to provide indemnity payments to producers for birds and eggs that must be depopulated during a disease response. APHIS also provides compensation for disposal activities and virus elimination activities.

Additional information on biosecurity for backyard flocks can be found at healthybirds.aphis.usda.gov.

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