LINCOLN, Neb. (KMTV) — The Nebraska Department of Agriculture (NDA) announced a fifth case of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) on Wednesday in a small backyard mixed flock of chicken and waterfowl in Scotts Bluff County.
HPAI, better known as bird flu, is a highly contagious virus spread easily between birds through nasal and eye secretions along with manure. The virus is spread in various ways from flock to flock.
According to NDA State Veterinarian Dr. Rodger Dudley, the farm is quarantined and the birds have been "humanely depopulated and disposed of in an approved manner."
NDA will additionally establish a 6.2-mile surveillance zone around the premises. A surveillance zone means poultry producers should be on higher alert and practice biosecurity measures in order to protect their flock.
Poultry producers should know the signs and symptoms of HPAI and notify NDA immediately upon noticing sick or dying poultry. Owners should report unusual deaths or sickness to NDA at 402-471-2351, or through USDA at 866-536-7593.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the risk of humans getting HPAI infections from birds is low. No human cases have been detected in the U.S.
Read more information from NDA about HPAI below.
Symptoms of HPAI in poultry include: a decrease in water consumption; lack of energy and appetite; decreased egg production or soft-shelled, misshapen eggs; nasal discharge, coughing, sneezing; incoordination; and diarrhea. HPAI can also cause sudden death in birds even if they aren’t showing any other symptoms. HPAI can survive for weeks in contaminated environments.
Enhanced biosecurity helps prevent the introduction and spread of viruses and diseases including HPAI. NDA and USDA have resources available to help poultry owners step up their biosecurity efforts.
- Know the warning signs of infectious bird diseases like HPAI. Be on the lookout for unusual signs of behavior, severe illness and/or sudden deaths.
- Restrict access to your property and poultry.
- Keep it clean. Wear clean clothes, scrub boots/shoes with disinfectant and wash hands thoroughly before and after contact with your flock.
- If you, your employees or family have been on other farms, or other places where there is livestock and/or poultry, clean and disinfect your vehicle tires and equipment before returning home.
- Don’t share equipment, tools, or other supplies with other livestock or poultry owners.
- In addition to practicing good biosecurity, all bird owners should prevent contact between their birds and wild birds, making sure wild birds cannot access domestic poultry’s feed and water sources.
- Report sick birds immediately to: NDA at 402-471-2351; the USDA at 866-536-7593; or your veterinarian. Early detection is important to prevent the spread of disease.
All poultry entering Nebraska must be accompanied by a VS form 9-3 or Certificate of Veterinary Inspection (CVI, or health certificate). If you are considering moving an animal into Nebraska from an affected state, please call 402-471-2351 to learn more. Nebraska poultry owners wanting to ship poultry out of state should consult the state veterinarians of the destination states for import requirements.