Avian Influenza: An Update for Veterinarians

Mar 30, 2023

Highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) is an extremely contagious disease of birds. It often causes death in poultry. The HPAI outbreak that started in 2022 continues to impact many areas of the United States.

WHAT KINDS OF BIRDS ARE AT RISK? HPAI is highly contagious and often fatal in poultry, including chickens, turkeys, pheasants, quail, ducks, geese, and guinea fowl. It can be carried by free flying migratory waterfowl, such as ducks, geese, and shorebirds.

DOES HPAI INFECT PEOPLE? According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the current avian influenza strain does not present an immediate public health concern; however, there is always the potential of viral mutation. Poultry meat and products are safe when following CDC food preparation guidelines.

HOW IS IT SPREAD? In many previous outbreaks, HPAI was largely confined to and spread among commercial poultry. In this outbreak, the disease is most frequently introduced to new areas by migratory waterfowl. People can spread HPAI by moving infected birds or contaminated equipment and feed. People can also spread HPAI on clothing and vehicles. Because of their exposure to wild birds, small backyard and pet poultry flocks are very susceptible to HPAI.

WHAT DOES HPAI LOOK LIKE IN BIRDS? Signs of HPAI include sudden death, respiratory distress (nasal discharge, coughing, sneezing), lack of energy or appetite, decreased water consumption, decreased egg production or soft-shelled or misshapen eggs.

Click here to see more...
Subscribe to our Newsletters

Trending Video