MADISON – New cases of highly pathogenic avian influenza were discovered on Thursday in Columbia, Polk and Sheboygan counties, according to a news release from the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection.
In Sheboygan County, the flu affected a flock of 15 backyard birds. The DATCP is working with the US Department of Agriculture to contain these latest outbreaks, one of which was found in a commercial flock of 20,000 in western Wisconsin, the news release said.
Since March 14, highly pathogenic avian flu has been found in seven domestic flocks across Wisconsin.
“As avian influenza continues to affect poultry in Wisconsin and throughout the nation, we’re reminding flock owners that strong biosecurity is our best defense against this devastating disease,” said State Veterinarian Dr. Darlene Konkle in the release. “We urge everyone working around poultry to increase their biosecurity measures and continue reporting signs of illness to help us prevent spread of the virus.”
According to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, this strain of avian flu, which was first identified in Europe in fall 2020, poses a low risk to the general public and no human infections have been identified in the United States.
More:Highly pathogenic avian influenza confirmed in Jefferson Co. flock
More:State veterinarian: Wild birds are the source of bird flu detections at Wisconsin egg farm, backyard flock
The disease also isn’t a food safety concern, the CDC says. Properly cooking chicken and eggs to an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit kills the virus.
However, the public can take steps to prevent avian flu from spreading, such as observing wild birds only from a distance and reporting any bird showing symptoms to the DATCP’s Division of Animal Health.
Contact the department via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 608-224-4872 on weekdays from 7:45 am to 4:30 pm and 800-943-0003 on evenings and weekends.
Latest updates on avian flu in Wisconsin are at datcp.wi.gov.
Contact Rebecca Loroff at 920-907-7801 or at email@example.com.