TWIN FALLS, Idaho —
On Wednesday, Idaho State Department of Agriculture (ISDA) confirmed the first case of bird flu in a domestic flock of chickens and ducks since May.
The confirmed cases of the Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) virus were found in a backyard flock in Twin Falls.
ISDA said that while HPAI was detected in wild birds this summer in Idaho, there have not been confirmed cases in domestic birds since May.
Poultry owners are encouraged to reinforce biosecurity measures for their flocks, limiting the number of people who interact with your birds, washing hands before and after handling the birds, and having dedicated clothing and tools for each flock, and prevent wild birds from interacting with domestic birds.
ISDA said public venues, like livestock exhibits or bird auctions, where domestic birds may interact with infected birds should be avoided.
In April, ISDA confirmed public bird auctions were a common source of HPAI infections for several domestic flocks after owners purchased birds and brought them home.
According to ISDA, HPAI is carried by waterfowl along their migratory path and Idaho is within the Pacific Flyway.
After being infected, domestic birds are highly susceptible to morbidity and mortality.
HPAI is transmitted between birds through close contact with an infected bird’s mucous, fecal matter, and sometimes aerosols. The virus can also be carried on tools, vehicles, clothes, and footwear.
Signs of HPAI in domestic poultry frequently include decreased appetite and activity, respiratory difficulty, dark combs and wattles, and unexplained mortality.
ISDA said that it is uncommon for humans to be infected with the virus, but symptoms can include conjunctivitis, fever, lethargy, aches, coughing, or diarrhea.
ISDA said that it is essential for poultry owners to monitor for the virus and contact ISDA immediately when HPAI symptoms are confirmed.
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