BISMARCK, N.D. – The North Dakota Department of Agriculture has received preliminary results of the presence of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) in a backyard chicken flock in McIntosh County from North Dakota State University Veterinary Diagnostic Lab.
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 will be depopulated to prevent the spread of the disease.
The detection triggers the suspension of commingling poultry/bird events both in McIntosh County and birds from McIntosh County. If no new cases emerge in 30 days, the suspension will be automatically lifted for that county.
“We’ve received scattered reports of mortality in migrating waterfowl,” North Dakota Game and Fish Department Wildlife Veterinarian Dr. Charlie Bahnson said. “Test results are pending.”
“While the incidence of avian influenza had been on the decline in wild birds, neighboring states have been seeing an increased incidence of domestic flocks being infected,” Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring said. “Wild birds, especially waterfowl, continue to be a source of exposure to our domestic birds.”
“With the current weather forecast and the abundance of geese currently hanging around the state, I would consider the risk of HPAI spread to our domestic birds to be high,” State Veterinarian Dr. Ethan Andress said. “Remember to follow biosecurity principles by restricting access to property, preventing wild birds from coming in contact with domestic birds, food or water sources. When possible, domestic birds should be housed indoors, especially in the midst of the migration.”
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.
More information about avian influenza is available at www.ndda.nd.gov/avian-influenza and from the USDA-APHIS at www.aphis.usda.gov. Any future detections of HPAI in North Dakota will be posted on www.ndda.nd.gov/hpai.