BISMARCK, N.D. – The United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) has confirmed the presence of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) in a non-commercial, backyard chicken flock in Kidder County, North Dakota. A presumptive positive case was first identified by the North Dakota State University Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory and confirmed by the APHIS National Veterinary Services Laboratories in Ames, Iowa.
The State Board of Animal Health and the North Dakota Department of Agriculture are working closely with USDA-APHIS and local officials in the response. The premises has been quarantined and the flock was depopulated to prevent the spread of the disease. Domestic birds in a 10 km control zone around the affected farm are being contacted and monitored to help prevent the spread of HPAI. Birds from the flock will not enter the food system.
There is no immediate public health concern due to this finding. The risk to people from HPAI is low despite the disease often being fatal for birds. No human infections with these viruses have been detected in the U.S.
“Poultry owners should immediately report unusual death loss, a drop in egg production or sick birds to their local veterinarian to decrease the impact HPAI may have on the region,” State Veterinarian Dr. Ethan Andress said. “Remember to restrict access to property, keep wild birds away from other birds and practice enhanced biosecurity. Hunters who are also bird owners should dress game birds in the field whenever possible and use dedicated footwear and tools to clean game.”
“This is the first case of HPAI in poultry in the state since 2015,” said Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring. “Protecting our North Dakota producers, who raise approximately 1 million commercial birds yearly, and our many backyard bird owners is high priority.”
Avian influenza exists in many wild birds and can be transmitted by contact with infected birds or ingestion of infected food and water.
More information about avian influenza is available at www.nd.gov/ndda/disease/avian-influenza and from the USDA-APHIS at www.aphis.usda.gov. Subsequent detections of HPAI in North Dakota will be posted on www.nd.gov/ndda/hpai.
The USDA-APHIS announcement on this detection may be found at https://www.aphis.usda.gov/aphis/newsroom/stakeholder-info/sa_by_date/sa-2022/hpai-ma-wy-nc-oh-nd.