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State officials find first case of avian flu in Oklahoma

Wild duck
Posted at 8:22 AM, Apr 01, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-01 09:22:39-04

PAYNE COUNTY — The Oklahoma Department of Agriculture confirms discovering its first wild bird to be infected with the Eurasian H5 type of highly pathogenic avian influenza on Thursday.

The first case was found in a wild duck from Payne County.

“While Oklahoma has not seen HPAI in a backyard or commercial poultry flock this year, the finding of this single duck adds Oklahoma to a long list of states with confirmed cases of HPAI,” said Dr. Rod Hall, State Veterinarian for Oklahoma. “I encourage poultry owners of all kinds to continue to remain vigilant, practice good biosecurity and report sick or dying birds immediately.”

Symptoms of HPAI in poultry include:

  • a decrease in water consumption
  • lack of energy and appetite
  • decreased egg production or soft-shelled
  • misshapen eggs
  • nasal discharge through coughing or sneezing
  • incoordination
  • diarrhea

HPAI can also cause sudden death in birds even if they aren’t showing any other symptoms. HPAI can survive for weeks in contaminated environments.

According to the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, this type of HPAI virus is considered low risk to people but can be very dangerous to poultry species, which is an important part of Oklahoma’s agricultural industry.

“We’re asking that anyone involved with poultry or egg production, from large farms all the way down to backyard flock, review and implement their biosecurity practices to ensure the health and well-being of their flocks,” Dr. Hall said.

There have been no known cases of HPAI in domestic birds in Oklahoma, but the disease is continuing to infect domestic flocks throughout the northern and eastern United States.

Since January of 2022, there have been 77 confirmed cases of HPAI in domestic flocks in the US.

If you see any sick wild birds, please report them to USDA Wildlife Services at 405-521-4039. Death or illness in domestic poultry species should be reported to the ODAFF Animal Industry Division at 405-522-6141.

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