Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza Confirmed in Rock County Backyard Flock


Contact: Kevin Hoffman, Public Information Officer, (608) 224-5005, kevin.hoffman@wisconsin.gov

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MADISON, Wis. – The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP) has announced a confirmed case of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) in a backyard flock in Rock County. This is Wisconsin's second confirmed case of HPAI in a domestic flock this year.

Samples were tested by the Wisconsin ​Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory and confirmed by the National Veterinary Services Laboratories. DATCP and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) are working closely with animal health officials on a joint incident response. Birds on the property have been depopulated to prevent the spread of the disease.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, HPAI does not present an immediate public health concern. HPAI also does not pose a food safety risk; properly handling and cooking poultry and eggs to an internal temperature of 165˚F kills the virus.

DATCP encourages poultry owners to register their premises and practice enhanced biosecurity. Producers are encouraged to move their birds indoors when possible to prevent contact with wild birds and their droppings. To report increased mortality or signs of illness among domestic birds, contact DATCP at (608) 224-4872 (business hours) or (800) 943-0003 (after hours and weekends).

About HPAI

HPAI viruses are a form of avian influenza that has been found to be highly contagious and often fatal to domestic poultry. It can be spread by contact with infected birds, equipment, or clothing worn by those working with the animals.

Signs of HPAI in infected birds include:

  • Sudden death without clinical signs
  • Lack of energy or appetite
  • Decrease in egg production; soft, misshapen eggs
  • Purple discoloration of wattles, comb, and legs
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Runny nose, coughing, sneezing
  • Stumbling or falling down
  • Diarrhea

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