The Kansas Department of Agriculture has identified a highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) in Dickinson and Sedgwick Counties. While HPAI has not been identified in Saline County at this time, the Saline County Health Department advises all residents to increase vigilance and review biosecurity practices for their flocks.
As always, the proper handling and cooking of all poultry and eggs to an internal temperature of 165 ̊F is recommended as a general food safety precaution.
The health department say symptoms to watch for include coughing, sneezing, nasal discharge, and other signs of respiratory distress; lack of energy and appetite; decreased water consumption; decreased egg production and/or soft-shelled, misshapen eggs; incoordination; and diarrhea.
Avian influenza can also cause sudden death in birds even if they aren’t showing other symptoms.
If you suspect your flock contracted the disease, quarantine the affected birds and area immediately. Notify your veterinarian of any suspected cases or call the KDA Division of Animal Health at 833-765-2006 or email us at [email protected] No effective treatment for the disease has been found. Infected animals must be humanely destroyed and disposed of properly to prevent the disease from spreading.
Preventing Avian Influenza:
- Prevent contact with wild birds, especially wild waterfowl. Remove any potential nesting areas for wild birds.
- Cover and enclose outdoor feeding areas, and cover stored feed.
- Take all possible steps to separate wild birds from having any access to your flock or their living area.
- Clean and disinfect any vehicle tires or equipment that has been on other farms or other locations where there is poultry or wild birds.
- Wear clean clothing, boots and shoes when in contact with your flock.
- Restrict unauthorized people and vehicles.
- Isolate new birds.
- Stay informed about the health of birds in your area.
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Image via CDC