Avian Influenza

What is Avian Influenza?

Highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) is a rapidly spreading viral disease that can infect many types of birds.

Avian Influenza is contagious.  It exists naturally in many wild birds and can be transmitted by contact with infected animals or ingestion of infected food or water.  Although extremely rare, humans, and other mammals can be vulnerable to the disease.  

If you suspect your livestock or flock contracted the disease, quarantine the affected animals and area immediately.  Notify your veterinarian of any suspected cases.  No effective treatment for the disease has been found.  Infected animals must be humanely destroyed and disposed of properly to prevent the disease from spreading. 

Although vaccines are available, they are not commonly used because no vaccine covers all 15 strains of the disease.  Prevention is the best way to combat HPAI.  Keep wild birds and contaminated animals away from your home or farm, and stay informed about the health of neighboring animals.  New animals should also be isolated.  Restrict traffic on and off your farm, and thoroughly disinfect any material entering and leaving the farm such as tires, equipment, and clothing. 

2015 HPAI Outbreak News Archive

The Kansas Department of Agriculture has lifted the ban on poultry exhibition and other events where birds are co-mingled in Kansas, effective December 4, 2015. Kansas Animal Health Commissioner Dr. Bill Brown encourages all poultry owners to continue to closely monitor their flocks and contact their local veterinarian immediately if birds appear sick.  

Farmers and ranchers can protect their flocks with good biosecurity practices including:

  • Isolate new animals
  • Move all livestock away from boundaries of your property
  • Clean clothing and boots should be worn when contact with livestock is expected
  • Thoroughly clean and disinfect equipment and animal areas
  • Monitor your animals for signs of the disease

A list of news releases from the outbreak are below: