What is Avian Influenza (a.k.a. A.I., Bird Flu)?
Avian Influenza, commonly known as the "bird flu," is an infectious disease found in birds caused by type A strains of the influenza virus. No new cases have been reported since June 17th, 2015. However, members of the poultry industry are concerned about the potential for new outbreaks during fall waterfowl migration.
The CDC reported in May 2015 that the "Highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) H5 infections have been reported in U.S. domestic poultry (backyard and commercial flocks), captive wild birds, and wild birds. HPAI H5 detection began in December 2014 and have continued into April 2015. USDA is reporting that H5 viruses have been detected in birds in 18 U.S. States; 13 states have experienced outbreaks in poultry flocks and 5 states have detected H5 in wild birds." [ Quote from CDC www.cdc.gov/flu/avianflu/h5/index.htm] It was also reported the H5N8 strain was diagnosed in an Indiana Flock. Since May 2015, 21 cases had been reported in June, the last report being January 15th, 2016 in Dubois County, IN (suspected the low pathogenic H7 LPA mutated to H7N8). The USDA has been very aggressive in research, prevention, and containment of A.I. in partnership with those who raise poultry. Being vigilant with strict bio-security - your best defense is a good offense.
Birds infected with the disease sometimes show symptoms and some die within 48 hours.
- Lethargy (lack of energy)
- Decreased appetite
- Coughing, Sneezing
- Nasal drainage
- Sudden death (without symptom)
- Discolored combs, wattles, and legs (hemorrhaging/purple/black)
- Swollen eyelids, wattles, hocks, comb, or head.
Symptoms (LPAI - Low Pathogenic)
Most cases no signs of infection or minor symptoms. If you suspected your birds are infected, call your local cooperative extension office, your veterinarian, state veterinarian or state animal/poultry diagnostic laboratory. Or call USDA toll-free at 1-866-536-7593 and they will put you in touch with a local contact who can help you.