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Maine reports avian influenza in non-poultry flock

On Sunday, the USDA confirmed a case of avian influenza in a non-poultry, non-commercial flock in Knox County, Maine. The surrounding area has been quarantined, and the birds have been depopulated. The USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is working with state health officials on a joint incident response. The kind of bird and how many were affected have not yet been released by the USDA.

This is Maine’s first case of avian influenza in a backyard flock. The state did not have any cases in its commercial or backyard flocks during the 2015 avian influenza outbreak

As a part of their efforts, state and federal officials are working on additional surveillance and testing in areas around the affected flock. According to the USDA, they are currently working with partners to test for the avian influenza in commercial poultry operations, live bird markets, and in migratory wild bird populations.

To date, avian influenza has been reported in commercial and backyard flocks in Indiana, Virginia, Kentucky, and New York, and in wild poultry in New Hampshire, Delaware, South Carolina, North Carolina, Georgia, Virginia, Connecticut, Florida, and Maryland.

APHIS will announce the first case of avian influenza in a state, but producers wanting to see subsequent cases can visit APHIS’s list of confirmed cases in commercial and backyard flocks and in wild birds

Producers should report all findings or suspicions of avian influenza to their veterinarians. Signs of avian influenza include birds dying without clinical signs; lack of energy; decreased egg production; soft-shelled or misshapen eggs; swelling or purple discoloration of the head, eyelids, comb, hocks; nasal discharge; coughing; sneezing; incoordination; and diarrhea. The USDA has a resource with images to help identify discoloration and other clinical signs.

Avian influenza does not pose a food safety concern to humans. Poultry that have been affected will not enter the food system.

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