USDA Confirms Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza in Backyard Flock in Kansas

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service has confirmed the presence of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) in a non-commercial backyard mixed species flock (poultry) in Franklin County, Kansas.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service has confirmed the presence of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) in a non-commercial backyard mixed species flock (poultry) in Franklin County, Kansas. Samples from the flock were tested at the Kansas State Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory and confirmed at the USDA–APHIS National Veterinary Services Laboratories (NVSL) in Ames, Iowa.

The Kansas Department of Agriculture is working closely with USDA–APHIS on a joint incident response. KDA officials quarantined the affected premises, and birds on the property will be depopulated to prevent the spread of the disease.

Anyone involved with poultry production from the small backyard chicken owner to the large commercial producer should review their biosecurity activities to assure the health of their birds. Find guidance on biosecurity on the KDA Division of Animal Health webpage at agriculture.ks.gov/AvianInfluenza. More biosecurity resources as well as updates on the current HPAI status nationwide can be found on the APHIS website at: https://www.aphis.usda.gov/aphis/ourfocus/animalhealth/animal-disease-information/avian/avian-influenza/2022-hpai.

Highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) is a highly contagious viral disease that can infect chickens, turkeys and other birds and can cause severe illness and/or sudden death in infected birds. Attentively monitor your birds for symptoms of HPAI which include: coughing, sneezing, nasal discharge, and other signs of respiratory distress; lack of energy and appetite; decreased water consumption; decreased egg production and/or soft-shelled, misshapen eggs; incoordination; and diarrhea. Avian influenza can also cause sudden death in birds even if they aren’t showing other symptoms.

If these symptoms are observed in your birds, immediately contact your veterinarian. If you don’t have a regular veterinarian, contact KDA’s Division of Animal Health office toll-free at 833-765-2006. 

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the recent HPAI detections do not present an immediate public health concern. No human cases of these avian influenza viruses have been detected in the United States. Birds and eggs from the infected flock will not enter the food system.  As a reminder, the proper handling and cooking of all poultry and eggs to an internal temperature of 165 ˚F is recommended as a general food safety precaution.

As part of existing avian influenza response plans, federal and state partners are working jointly on additional surveillance and testing in areas around the affected flocks. The United States has the strongest AI surveillance program in the world, and USDA is working with its partners to actively look for the disease in commercial poultry operations, live bird markets and in migratory wild bird populations.

For more information about HPAI, including current status of the confirmed cases in other states as well as more information about biosecurity for your flock, go to KDA’s avian influenza webpage at agriculture.ks.gov/AvianInfluenza or call KDA at 833-765-2006.

Division of Animal Health

AVIAN INFLUENZA: Find the latest updates and recommendations related to highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI): agriculture.ks.gov/AvianInfluenza

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Through consolidation of the Livestock Sanitary Commission and the State Brand Commission in 1969, the Kansas Division of Animal Health (DAH) was created. Currently there are three programs that make up the DAH - Animal Disease Control, Animal Facilities Inspection, Brands Program - all of which work to ensure the health and welfare of Kansas livestock and domestic animals. The DAH works in conjunction with two essential boards: the Animal Health Board and the Pet Animal Advisory Board. In 2011, the DAH joined with the Kansas Department of Agriculture, and in 2014 relocated to Manhattan, Kansas.