High Path Avian Influenza confirmed in Bladen County

Published: Jan. 28, 2022 at 10:49 AM EST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

BLADEN COUNTY, N.C. (WECT) - High Path Avian Influenza has been confirmed in 53 hunter-harvested wild waterfowl at three sites in North Carolina - a site in Hyde County, a site located on the Pamlico/Beaufort County line and a new site in Bladen County.

According to state officials, these are the first wild birds in the U.S. to have Eurasian H5 HPAI since 2016.

“These findings continue to support evidence that high path avian influenza is currently present in the Atlantic Americas migratory flyway,” said State Veterinarian Mike Martin. “Wild birds can carry this virus asymptomatically and potentially spread it to domestic poultry. We strongly encourage all poultry owners to follow strict biosecurity measures for at least the next 30 days, which is the time frame these birds are anticipated to be migrating through the state.”

Wildlife officials say biosecurity measures include keeping your birds isolated from other people and animals in an enclosed environment. Bird owners also should keep their flock away from ponds where they might encounter migrating birds.

This type of HPAI virus is considered a low risk to people, according to the CDC, but it can be a danger to other birds.

“All bird owners are encouraged to know the warning signs of Avian Influenza and implement steps to protect their flock,” state officials said in a news release.

The warning signs of HPAI include:

• Reduced energy, decreased appetite, and/or decreased activity

• Lower egg production and/or soft-shelled or misshapen eggs

• Swelling of the head, eyelids, comb and wattles

• Purple discoloration of the wattles, comb and legs

• Difficulty breathing, runny nares (nose), and/or sneezing

• Twisting of the head and neck, stumbling, falling down, tremors and/or circling

• Greenish diarrhea

If you see sick or dying birds, you’re asked to report it right away to your local veterinarian, the N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services Veterinary Division at 919-707-3250, or the N.C. Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory System at 919-733-3986.

Copyright 2022 WECT. All rights reserved.