The Utah Department of Agriculture and Food (UDAF) has confirmed an additional six cases of Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) on turkey farms in Sanpete County and one backyard flock in Cache County in the last two weeks, totaling 16 turkey farms and 2 back yard premises impacted by the disease this fall. All birds on these premises have been depopulated or quarantined to prevent further spread of the disease.
The situation in these areas is still ongoing and is being closely monitored by UDAF and USDA officials in efforts to contain the disease and prevent further impact. Members of the public should stay away from premises with known cases as well as any locations where officials are working to contain the disease to avoid coming in contact with HPAI.
UDAF is asking for the public’s help to prepare for a continued increase of HPAI cases. All domestic bird owners, including backyard chicken flocks, ducks, geese, turkeys, gamebirds, etc., should strengthen their biosecurity practices. If possible, birds should be kept locked inside enclosures to avoid contact with migratory birds. Flocks should not have shared water, feed, or grazing sources with wild bird habitats.
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. USDA APHIS has materials about biosecurity, including videos, checklists, and a toolkit available at: https://www.aphis.usda.gov/
Indicators of HPAI in avian flocks are high death loss, nasal discharge, decreased appetite or water consumption, and lack of coordination in birds. If birds are experiencing any of these symptoms, it should be reported to the state veterinarian immediately at email@example.com.
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.
For more information and guidance on how to protect animal and human health in Utah, visit https://ag.utah.gov/hpai/.