High Path Avian Influenza (HPAI) has been confirmed in poultry flocks in Kentucky, Indiana, Virginia, New York, Maine, Michigan, Delaware, Maryland, Missouri, Connecticut and Iowa. HPAI spreads quickly and can be fatal to flocks and devastating to poultry owners.
HPAI has also been found in wild birds in Ohio. Wild birds can be infected with HPAI and show no signs of illness, though the birds positive for HPAI in Ohio had died. They can carry the disease to new areas when migrating, potentially exposing domestic poultry to the virus. APHIS anticipates additional avian influenza detections will occur in additional states as wild bird surveillance continues into the spring.
The Ohio Department of Agriculture is urging poultry owners to intensify biosecurity and best management practices:
• Prevent Contact with wild birds and waterfowl. Keep birds indoors when possible. Add wildlife management practices around your farm. hpaifactsheet_wildlife-biosecurity.pdf (usda.gov)
• Keep visitors to a minimum. Only allow those who care for your poultry to have contact with them and make sure they follow biosecurity principles.
• Wash your hands before and after contact with live poultry. Use soap and water. If using a hand sanitizer, first remove manure, feathers, and other materials from your hands.
• Provide disposable boot covers (preferred) and/or disinfectant footbaths for anyone having contact with your flock. If using a footbath, remove all droppings, mud or debris from boots and shoes using a long-handled brush BEFORE stepping in. Always keep it clean.
• Establish a rodent and pest control program. Deliver, store, and maintain feed, ingredients, bedding and litter to limit exposure to and contamination from wild animals.
• Use drinking water sourced from a contained supply (well or municipal system). Do not use surface water for drinking or cleaning.
• Clean and disinfect tools and equipment before moving them to a new poultry facility. Trucks, tractors, tools and equipment should be cleaned and disinfected prior to exiting the property. Do not move or reuse anything that cannot be cleaned.
• Look for signs of illness. Monitor egg production and death loss, discoloration and/or swelling of legs, wattles and combs, labored breathing, reduced feed/water consumption.
• Report sick birds. Report unusual signs of disease or unexpected deaths to OPA (614) 882-6111 or ODA at (614) 728-6220 or afterhours at (888) 456-3405.
For more information on biosecurity practices, visit: USDA APHIS | Defend the Flock – Resource Center
Defend the Flock Winter Bulletin https://www.aphis.usda.gov/publications/animal_health/dtf-newsletter-winter-22.pdf
All cases in commercial and backyard flocks: USDA APHIS | 2022 Detections of Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza.