Prevent the Spread of Avian Flu
HIGHLY PATHOGENIC H5N2 HAS NOW BEEN OFFICIALLY DETECTED IN A WILD BIRD FROM COLLETON COUNTY, SOUTH CAROLINA.
PLEASE MAKE SURE TO TIGHTEN YOUR BIOSECURITY.
The United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) has confirmed two additional findings of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) in wild birds – one in Colleton County, South Carolina, and one in Hyde County, North Carolina. These finds follow confirmation on January 14, 2022, of HPAI in a wild bird in Colleton County, South Carolina. All three findings are H5N1 HPAI.
This is a confirmation that there is potentially more HPAI out there in wild birds and we all should do the following to prevent it from jumping into commercial or backyard poultry populations.
1- Anyone involved with poultry – commercial or backyard flocks alike – should review their biosecurity plan and enhance their biosecurity practices to assure the health of their birds. APHIS has materials about biosecurity, including videos, checklists, and a toolkit available for producers on APHIS here
2- 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 USDA’s toll-free number at 1-866-536-7593. Additional information on biosecurity for backyard flocks can be found at http://healthybirds.aphis.usda.gov.
3- To report sick or suddenly dead birds to the Maryland department of agriculture, Animal Health call 410-841-5810. and full contact information can be found here
4- People should minimize direct contact with wild birds by using gloves as wild birds can be infected with these viruses without appearing sick. If contact occurs, wash your hands with soap and water, and change clothing before having any contact with healthy domestic poultry and birds.
5- Hunters should dress game birds in the field whenever possible and practice good biosecurity to prevent any potential disease spread. Biosecurity information is available here
The full press release can be found here
Mostafa Ghanem Assistant Professor Department of Veterinary Medicine Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine
8075 Greenmead Dr, College Park, MD 20740
Tel: 301-314-1191 Fax: 301-314-6855