Wild duck tests positive for bird flu in northern Alabama – Elmore-Autauga News

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Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) has confirmed Eurasian H5 Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) in a wild American Wigeon harvested by hunters in the Limestone County, Alabama.

In January 2022, Eurasian H5 HPAI was detected in South Carolina and has since been detected in 14 additional states. HPAI H5 viruses infect the respiratory and gastrointestinal tracts of birds, can spread rapidly and cause high mortality in infected poultry. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the risk to humans from Eurasian H5 HPAI is low. No cases of Eurasian H5 HPAI in humans have been identified in the United States.

The USDA monitors the disease in commercial poultry operations, live bird markets, and migratory wild bird populations. Samples were taken for testing from American Wigeon harvested by hunters in Limestone County during routine disease surveillance. Preliminary tests were positive for Eurasian H5 HPAI. Additional testing by APHIS Veterinary Services National Laboratories in Ames, Iowa confirmed the positive results.

Wild birds can be infected with bird flu without appearing sick. Hunters should minimize direct contact with wild birds by using gloves. In case of contact, wash hands with soap and water and change clothes before contact with healthy poultry and domestic birds.

The public is encouraged to report sightings of dead or dying birds to the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (ADCNR) for collection and testing. To report a sighting, call ADCNR’s Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries Division at (334) 242-3469. It is important to avoid contact with a dead or dying bird.

For more information on HPAI and domestic poultry, please contact the Alabama Department of Agriculture and Industries. Contact details are available at www.agi.alabama.gov

The ADCNR promotes the wise stewardship, management, and enjoyment of Alabama’s natural resources through four divisions: Marine Resources, State Lands, National Parks, and Freshwater Wildlife and Fisheries. Learn more about www.outdooralabama.com

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