Avian Influenza Confirmed In Jefferson Co. Flock

The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP) has announced a confirmed case of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) in a commercial poultry flock in Jefferson County. Samples were tested by the Wisconsin Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory and confirmed by the National Veterinary Services Laboratories in Ames, Iowa.

This is Wisconsin’s first confirmed case of HPAI since 2015. DATCP and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) are working closely with animal health officials on a joint incident response. The affected premises will not move poultry products, and birds on the property will be depopulated to prevent the spread of the disease. Birds from the flock will not enter the food system. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, HPAI does not present an immediate public health concern and no human cases of avian influenza have been found in the United States. 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.

As part of existing avian influenza response plans, federal and state partners are working on additional surveillance and testing in areas around the affected flock. DATCP reminds anyone working with birds to complete premises registration and practice enhanced biosecurity. Producers are encouraged to move their birds indoors when possible to prevent contact with wild birds and their droppings.

Wisconsin actively monitors for human cases of avian influenza and has plans in place to respond, if necessary. Anyone with questions about how avian flu affects humans can find information at the Wisconsin Department of Health Services website. For more information on avian influenza viruses in wild birds, or for information on how and when to report sick or dead wild birds, visit the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources wildlife diseases webpage.

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

Sign up for email updates. For more information on HPAI in Wisconsin, visit https://datcp.wi.gov/Pages/Programs_Services/HPAIWisconsin.aspx.