Officials confirm more cases of new bird flu in Nebraska

Published: Mar. 22, 2022 at 3:50 PM CDT
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BUTLER COUNTY, Neb. (WOWT) - More cases of the new bird flu have been confirmed in Nebraska Tuesday.

The Nebraska Department of Agriculture and the United States Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service confirmed a case in a flock of 570,000 broilers in Butler County according to the release.

About a week ago, the NDA confirmed a case in a backyard flock in Merrick County. There are also recent cases in Kansas and Iowa.

“Having a second farm in Nebraska confirmed to have HPAI is unfortunate, but not completely unexpected,” said NDA Director Steve Wellman. “NDA will use all the resources at our disposal, in coordination with our federal partners to manage a quick response.”

Officials in the release break down the highly pathogenic avian influenza as a highly contagious virus that easily spreads around birds through nasal and eye secretions, as well as manure.

Further in the release, officials state the symptoms in poultry vary from a decrease in water consumption, lack of energy and appetite, decreased egg production or soft-shelled, misshapen eggs, nasal discharge, coughing, sneezing, incoordination, diarrhea, and even sudden death in birds.

It’s reported HPAI can live for weeks in contaminated surroundings and can spread from flock to flock, through wild birds, and in contact with infected poultry, equipment, and caretakers’ clothing.

With the increase in cases throughout the U.S., NDA State Veterinarian Dr. Roger Dudley mentioned in the release there’s an increase in biosecurity and observational testing. When officials notice a loss bigger than normal, they got in contact with NDA and immediately quarantined.

The farm is under NDA quarantine and the birds will be humanely depopulated and disposed of in an approved manner. Additionally, NDA will be establishing a 6.2-mile control zone around the infected premises. Premises with poultry that fall within that control zone will not be allowed to move birds or poultry products on or off their premises without permission from NDA. These producers should also know the signs and symptoms of HPAI and notify NDA immediately of sick or dying poultry.

Nebraska Department of Agriculture press release

People can report to the NDA at 402-471-2351 or USDA at 866-536-7593 for odd bird deaths or sick birds.

No human case of HPAI has been reported in the U.S. and the CDC says the risk of humans getting the virus from birds is low.

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