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Dr. Crystal Shropshire
ISDA confirms first case of Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza since May
September 14, 2022
BOISE, ID – The Idaho State Department of Agriculture (ISDA) has confirmed Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) virus in a backyard flock of domestic chickens and ducks in Twin Falls County, Idaho. This is the first confirmed case of HPAI in domestic poultry this season.
ISDA strongly recommends poultry owners reinforce biosecurity measures for their flocks and prevent wild waterfowl from interacting with their domestic birds. Public venues where domestic poultry may come in contact with infected birds, such as livestock exhibitions or bird auctions, should also be avoided. In April 2022, ISDA confirmed a public bird auction as the common source of HPAI infections for several backyard flocks after owners purchased birds and brought them home.
HPAI is carried by waterfowl (geese and ducks) along their migratory path. Idaho is within the Pacific Flyway. Domestic birds and poultry are very susceptible to morbidity and mortality once infected. HPAI is transmitted between birds through close contact (mucous), fecal matter, and sometimes as an aerosol. It is often carried on objects such as tools, vehicles, clothes, and boots, which can transfer the virus from one location to another.
It is uncommon for humans to become infected, but symptoms may include conjunctivitis, fever, lethargy, aches, coughing, or diarrhea. Being in direct contact with domestic birds is the highest risk activity. When USDA guidelines for cooking are followed, HPAI is not a foodborne illness.
Anyone who comes across a sick or dead wild bird should refrain from interacting with it and should contact IDFG at https://idfg.idaho.gov/conservation/wildlife-health.