(KFOR NEWS September 20, 2022) A 9th case of avian influenza has been reported in Nebraska.
The Nebraska Department of Agriculture (NDA) in conjunction with the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is announcing a ninth confirmed case of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI). The last case in Nebraska was discovered in April. The 9th farm is a small backyard flock in Dawes County.
According to NDA State Veterinarian Dr. Roger Dudley, the flock has been humanely depopulated and disposed of in an approved manner. Additionally, NDA will be establishing a 6.2-mile surveillance zone, as is USDA policy, around the affected premises. Poultry producers in that surveillance zone should know the signs and symptoms of HPAI and notify NDA immediately of sick or dying birds.
HPAI is a highly contagious virus that spreads easily among birds through nasal and eye secretions, as well as manure. The virus can be spread in various ways from flock to flock, including by wild birds, through contact with infected poultry, by equipment, and on the clothing and shoes of caretakers. Wild birds can carry the virus without becoming sick, while domesticated birds can become very sick.
Symptoms of HPAI in poultry include: a decrease in water consumption; lack of energy and appetite; decreased egg production or soft-shelled, misshapen eggs; nasal discharge, coughing, sneezing; incoordination; and diarrhea. HPAI can also cause sudden death in birds even if they aren’t showing any other symptoms. HPAI can survive for weeks in contaminated environments.
NDA is encouraging bird owners to prevent contact between their birds and wildlife and to practice strict biosecurity measures. If producers suspect signs of HPAI in their flock, they should report it to NDA immediately at (402) 471-2351. More information for producers can be found at https://nda.nebraska.gov/animal/avian/index.html or http://healthybirds.aphis.usda.gov.