SATURDAY, OCTOBER 1, 2016

Poultry, bird owners asked to raise biosecurity

Courtesy of mentalfloss.com
The Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) this week urged poultry and domestic bird owners to raise biosecurity efforts to protect them from avian influenza.

Avian influenza, commonly known as bird flu, infects both wild and domestic birds. It is a viral disease.

Since December, the U.S. has seen an increase in the number of cases of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI), which is notorious for quickly spreading and killing turkeys and chickens. The virus can infect wild birds without showing any symptoms.

As of today, there have not been any human infections of bird flu confirmed. People who come into contact with birds are more likely to contract the virus than people who do not work with birds.

“Arkansas, Missouri and Minnesota have detected avian influenza in commercial flocks recently, which raises concerns that Michigan may be next as wild waterfowl will be migrating north soon,” State Veterinarian James Averill said. “The cause of infection for these birds is still unknown, but in the meantime domestic bird owners need to take appropriate steps to mitigate interactions with domestic and wild birds.”

Signs of avian influenza may include: loss of appetite and energy;  difficulty walking; swollen head, combs, wattles or legs; nasal discharge; sneezing; coughing; bloody diarrhea, significant drop in egg production; or sudden death.