REYNOLDSBURG, Ohio (WJW) — A highly contagious bird flu has been detected in two Ohio counties, according to the Ohio Department of Agriculture.
The Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza was found in a backyard flock in Ashland County and a commercial chicken flock in Defiance County and confirmed by the United States Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.
No human cases in the U.S. have been detected in connection to the most recent cases, according to the release. The last U.S. human case reported was in May 2022.
The CDC says there is no immediate public health concern at this time.
The highly contagious virus spreads quickly and can be fatal to flocks and devastating to poultry owners infecting poultry including chickens, turkeys, pheasants, quail, domestic ducks, geese, and guinea fowl. It’s also carried by free flying waterfowl such as ducks, geese, and shorebirds.
The grounds where the cases were found have been quarantined and the “birds on the properties will be depopulated to prevent the spread of the disease,” the release said.
Although the virus cannot be transmitted through properly cooked meats or eggs, products from any HPAI-affected flocks are prohibited from entering the food system, according to USDA.
Just remember, as a general food safety precaution, to cook all poultry and eggs to an internal temperature of 165 ˚F.
Here are some guidelines from ODA to help curb the spread of bird flu:
- Prevent contact with wild birds and waterfowl by keeping birds indoors when possible.
- Keep visitors to only those who care for your poultry
- Wash your hands with soap and water before and after contact with live poultry.
- Use disposable boot covers and/or disinfectant footbaths for anyone having contact with your flock.
- Establish a rodent and pest control program.
- Do not use surface water for drinking or cleaning but instead use drinking water from a contained source.
- Clean and disinfect equipment before moving them to a new poultry facility including trucks, tractors and tools.
- Look for signs of illness: Monitor egg production, discoloration and/or swelling of legs, wattles and combs, labored breathing and reduced feed/water consumption.