Utah Department of Agriculture and Food (UDAF) officials have confirmed one new case of Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) this week in Salt Lake County. This brings the total number of cases in Utah to five, one in Utah County, three in Cache County, and one in Salt Lake County.
“We urge bird owners with flocks of all sizes to take extreme caution with their bird’s habitats,” said Utah State Veterinarian, Dr. Dean Taylor. “The more potential exposure the birds may have to wild and migrating birds, the greater the risk of the flock contracting the disease.”
The new case was discovered in a backyard flock of birds on the West side of Salt Lake County. The flock experienced high death rates and the owners contacted the state veterinarian’s office immediately. It is suspected that the disease was contracted by coming in contact with wild waterfowl that could access the property. The flock was quarantined and depopulation was implemented by the state veterinarian’s office to contain the disease.
Officials at UDAF urge bird owners in Utah to continue to be vigilant in checking their birds for symptoms and ensuring they are following good biosecurity practices. Symptoms include high death loss among flocks, nasal discharge, decreased appetite or water consumption, and lack of coordination in birds. If birds are experiencing any of these symptoms, please contact the state veterinarian’s office immediately at firstname.lastname@example.org. Early reporting and action will help to contain the disease.
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the recent HPAI detections do not present an immediate public health concern. One case of this strain of HPAI has been detected in the United States. 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.
Anyone involved with poultry production from the small backyard to the large commercial producer should review their biosecurity activities to assure the health of their birds. APHIS has materials about biosecurity, including videos, checklists, and a toolkit available at: https://www.aphis.usda.gov/