Case of bird flu identified in St. Croix County, Wisconsin
By Henry Redman
A case of highly pathogenic avian influenza, or bird flu, was identified in a backyard poultry flock in St. Croix County last week, according to a press release issued Monday by the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP).
Seven birds were infected and have since been killed, according to DATCP’s avian influenza website. This year, more than 3.1 million birds across 16 counties in Wisconsin have been infected with the disease, according to DATCP. Most of the cases have come from Jefferson County, which was the first in the state to identify the virus.
All the infected flocks have been “depopulated” to prevent the spread of the disease, which is often fatal to domestic poultry.
Poultry farms across the country have been affected by the spread of bird flu this year. Zoos have been forced to keep their bird populations under quarantine to protect them and Wisconsin instituted new rules for poultry showings at county fairs.
In Iowa, an outbreak earlier in the year led to more than 13 million birds being killed. As the weather changes and migratory birds begin to move south for the winter, officials are worried they’ll spark another outbreak of the disease.
To prevent the spread, DATCP recommends poultry owners and people working with poultry regularly wash their hands, disinfect equipment, restrict access to birds and separate new birds from existing flocks for at least 30 days. Poultry owners have also been asked to keep birds indoors to minimize exposure to wild birds and their droppings.
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