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Avian flu detected among Branch County flock

Posted at 4:02 PM, Apr 30, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-30 16:07:20-04

LANSING, Mich. — The Michigan State University Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory has detected a highly infectious strain of bird flu in Branch County, according to the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD).

We’re told the strain was found in a noncommercial backyard flock.

MDARD says the flock has been placed in quarantine.

“As wild birds continue to migrate and spread the virus, it is not unexpected to see more cases of HPAI being detected in domestic flocks across the state,” says State Veterinarian Dr. Nora Wineland. “However, by implementing and following preventative measures, we all can minimize these cases and protect Michigan’s domestic birds.”

The Centers for Disease Control says public risk of bird flu is currently low.

MDARD offers these tips to protect Michigan birds from bird flu:

  • Bring domestic birds indoors or make sure they remain enclosed outdoors to eliminate contact with wild birds.
  • Wash up before and after handling birds, and when traveling between coops.
  • Disinfect boots and other equipment between coops.
  • Don’t share equipment between farms or coops.
  • Throw out equipment that can’t be disinfected between uses.
  • Give birds well or municipal water.
  • Secure poultry feed so that it is inaccessible to rodents or wild birds.

Symptoms of bird flu reportedly include unusual deaths, a stark drop in egg production and/or water intake, or increased numbers of sick birds.

Owners and caretakers who suspect bird flu in their domestic flocks are asked to call MDARD at 800-292-3939 during the day or 517-373-0440 after hours.

Anyone who spots unusual deaths among wild birds are encouraged to file a report with the Michigan Department of Natural Resources by using their app or by calling 517-336-5030.

RELATED: First human case of bird flu reported in the US

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