March 31, 2022. The Wyoming Livestock Board (WLSB) has identified one new county which has a highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) as the disease outbreak continues in Wyoming Samples from birds exhibiting HPAI symptoms in a non-commercial backyard mixed-species flock (nonpoultry) in Park County were confirmed by the National Veterinary Services Laboratory in Ames, Iowa. (Editor’s note: On 3/30/22, USDA confirmed a case of HPAI in Johnson County, Wyoming, https://www.aphis.usda.gov/aphis/newsroom/stakeholder-info/sa_by_date/sa-2022/hpai-ma-wy-nc-oh-nd.)
WLSB is working closely with USDA–APHIS on a joint incident response in the new location. WLSB officials quarantined the affected premises, and birds on the premises will be depopulated to prevent the spread of the disease.
Anyone involved with poultry production from the small backyard chicken owner to the large commercial producer should review their biosecurity activities to assure the health of their birds. Find guidance on biosecurity, along with recently confirmed locations, on the USDA APHIS website, https://www.aphis.usda.gov/aphis/ourfocus/animalhealth/animal-disease-information/avian/avian-influenza/2022-hpai. Moving forward, any additional confirmed cases will be shared directly with local communities and announced on the WLSB webpage, rather than through a statewide news release.
Highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) is a highly contagious viral disease that can infect chickens, turkeys and other birds and can cause severe illness and/or sudden death in infected birds. Attentively monitor your birds for symptoms of HPAI which include: coughing, sneezing, nasal discharge, and other signs of respiratory distress; lack of energy and appetite; decreased water consumption; decreased egg production and/or soft-shelled, misshapen eggs; incoordination; and diarrhea. Avian influenza can also cause sudden death in birds even if they aren’t showing other symptoms. If these symptoms are observed in your birds, immediately contact your veterinarian. If you don’t have a regular veterinarian, contact WLSB, 307.777.8270 or 307.777.6440.
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the recent HPAI detections do not present an immediate public health concern. No human cases of these avian influenza viruses have been detected in the United States. Birds and eggs from the infected flock will not enter the food system. 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.
As part of existing avian influenza response plans, federal and state partners are working jointly on additional surveillance and testing in areas around the affected flocks. The United States has the strongest AI surveillance program in the world, and USDA is working with its partners to actively look for the disease in commercial poultry operations, live bird markets and in migratory wild bird populations.
For more information about HPAI, including current status of the confirmed cases in other states as well as more information about biosecurity for your flock, go to the USDA APHIS avian influenza webpage at https://www.aphis.usda.gov/aphis/ourfocus/animalhealth/animal-disease-information/avian/avian-influenza/2022-hpai.