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Bird flu detected in Ingham County backyard flock

US Bird Flu
Posted at 11:31 AM, Sep 14, 2022

LANSING, Mich. — Michigan State University Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory has detected bird flu in a "non-commercial backyard poultry flock from Ingham County."

According to the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, this is the first detection of the highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) in the county.

“While this newest detection is unfortunate, it is not unexpected. Even though Michigan has not had a case of HPAI in domestic birds since May, the disease was regularly being found in the state’s wildlife, indicating the virus is still present in the environment,” said State Veterinarian Dr. Nora Wineland in a news release. “As wild birds migrate and spread the virus this fall, it is vital for bird owners to take every step they can to protect their birds from being exposed to wild birds. Keeping HPAI out of Michigan’s domestic flocks remains a team effort.”

The virus is highly contagious and can be spread from flock to flock by wild birds, equipment, clothing and contact with infected poultry.

The place where the virus was detected has been placed under quarantine and the inflected flock, which contains about 20 birds, will be "depopulated."

The department said they will not stop poultry and waterfowl exhibitions, but it said that fair boards can decide which shows are allowed at their events.

The department also released guidance on how to protect birds across Michigan from the virus:

  • Prevent contact between domestic and wild birds by bringing them indoors or ensuring their outdoor area is fully enclosed.
  • Wash your hands before and after handling birds as well as when moving between different coops.
  • Disinfecting boots and other gear when moving between coops.
  • Do not share equipment or other supplies between coops or other farms.
  • Cleaning and disinfecting equipment and other supplies between uses. If it cannot be disinfected, discard it.
  • Using well or municipal water as drinking water for birds.
  • Keep poultry feed secure to ensure there is no contact between the feed/feed ingredients and wild birds or rodents.

If you suspect your birds have avian influenza, you are asked to contact the department immediately at 800-292-3939 during the day or 517-373-0440 after hours.

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