Nebraska reports fourth case of pathogenic bird flu

The farm has been quarantined and the birds will be depopulated and humanely disposed of, according to NDA State Veterinarian Dr. Roger Dudley.

LINCOLN, Neb. (KLKN) – Highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) has been detected in a small backyard flock in Holt County.

The Nebraska Department of Agriculture (NDA), in cooperation with the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), announced the fourth confirmed case.

The farm has been quarantined and the birds will be depopulated and humanely disposed of, according to NDA State Veterinarian Dr. Roger Dudley.

In accordance with USDA policies, the NDA has established a 6.2 mile watch zone around the affected area. Poultry producers must be on high alert and apply biosecurity measures to protect their flock. Producers must notify the NDA immediately of any sick or dying poultry.

Other locations of confirmed HPAI cases in Nebraska are Merrick and Butler counties.

Symptoms of HPAI include decreased water intake, lack of energy and appetite, decreased egg production, misshapen eggs, runny nose, coughing, sneezing, incoordination and diarrhoea. Birds can also die suddenly even if they show no symptoms.

HPAI can remain for weeks in contaminated environments. It is highly contagious and can be spread in various ways from herd to herd. HPAI is spread by wild birds, by contact with infected poultry, by equipment and on the clothes or shoes of keepers.

Poultry owners should report unusual poultry bird deaths or sick birds to the NDA at 402-471-2351, or via the USDA at 866-536-7593.

Increased biosecurity prevents the introduction and spread of viruses and diseases. The USDA provides resources to help poultry owners improve their biosecurity.

Knowing the warning signs of HPAI is essential to controlling HPAI. Watch out for unusual behavior, serious illness or sudden death. Wear clean clothes, wash your hands and clean your shoes with disinfectant.

Avoid sharing equipment and other supplies and keep birds away from wild birds. Disinfect and clean your vehicles if your employees or family have been to other farms.

The risk of people contracting HPAI from birds is low, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

No HPAI infection has ever been detected in humans in the United States.

All poultry entering Nebraska must be accompanied by a VS 9-3 form or a certificate of veterinary inspection (CVI or health certificate). If you are considering moving an animal to Nebraska from an affected state, please call 402-471-2351 for more information. Nebraska poultry owners who wish to ship poultry out of state should consult with state veterinarians in destination states for import requirements.

For more information on bird flu, visit the NDAs website or USDA website. Additional information on biosecurity for backyard flocks can be found here.

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