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KDA Warns Poultry Owners of HPAI Resurgence Nationwide

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By Kansas Department of Agriculture

 

MANHATTAN, Kan. — Fall has brought a resurgence of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) nationwide, including cases in several states that border Kansas — Missouri, Oklahoma and Colorado. Although Kansas has not confirmed a case of HPAI in a domestic/commercial flock since April 2023, the primary source of spread for this outbreak continues to be wild migratory waterfowl, so the threat of exposure to susceptible birds in Kansas is high.

Anyone involved with poultry production from the small backyard chicken owner to the large commercial producer should review their biosecurity activities to assure the health of their birds. Find guidance on biosecurity on the KDA Division of Animal Health webpage at agriculture.ks.gov/AvianInfluenza.

Highly pathogenic avian influenza is a highly contagious viral disease that can infect chickens, gamebirds, turkeys, and other birds and can cause severe illness and/or sudden death in infected birds. This outbreak has seen illness and mortality in a wider scope of bird species than past outbreaks, including wild and domestic waterfowl. Attentively monitor your birds for symptoms of HPAI which include: coughing, sneezing, nasal discharge, and other signs of respiratory distress; lack of energy and appetite; decreased water consumption; decreased egg production and/or soft-shelled, misshapen eggs; incoordination; and diarrhea. Avian influenza can also cause sudden death in birds even if they aren’t showing other symptoms.

If these symptoms are observed in your birds, immediately contact your veterinarian. If you don’t have a regular veterinarian, contact KDA’s Division of Animal Health office toll-free at 833-765-2006. 

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the recent HPAI detections do not present an immediate public health concern. Birds and eggs from the infected flock will not enter the food system. As a reminder, the proper handling and cooking of all poultry and eggs to an internal temperature of 165 ˚F is recommended as a general food safety precaution.

As part of existing avian influenza response plans, federal and state partners are working jointly on additional surveillance and testing in areas around the affected flocks. The United States has the strongest avian influenza surveillance program in the world, and USDA is working with its partners to actively look for the disease in commercial poultry operations and live bird markets and in migratory wild bird populations.

For more information about HPAI, including current status of the confirmed cases in other states as well as more information about biosecurity for your flock, go to KDA’s avian influenza webpage at agriculture.ks.gov/AvianInfluenza or call KDA at 833-765-2006.

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