Since December 2014, USDA has confirmed several cases of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) H5 in the Pacific, Central, and Mississippi flyways (or migratory bird paths). The disease has been found in wild birds, as well as in a few backyard and commercial poultry flocks. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) considers the risk to people from these HPAI H5 infections to be low. No human cases of these HPAI H5 viruses have been detected in the United States, Canada, or internationally.
Anyone who owns or works with poultry—whether on a commercial farm, in the wild, or at a hobby/backyard farm—should take proper steps to keep HPAI from spreading. The best way to protect your birds is to follow good biosecurity. Even if you are already familiar with biosecurity, now is a good time to double-check your practices. You are the best protection your birds have!
Be sure to join Dr. Catherine Woteki, USDA Under Secretary for Research, Education and Economics, and others for a Twitter chat aimed to empower poultry owners with the information they need to protect their birds’ health. Participants include: USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, and Forest Service; the United States Geological Survey; the Food and Drug Administration; Department of Agriculture representatives from Delaware, Georgia, Illinois, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Tennessee and Wisconsin; the National Turkey Federation; and the National Chicken Council. Andy Schneider, a backyard poultry expert, also will be joining the chat, along with Healthy Harry, the spokesbird for USDA’s Biosecurity for Birds outreach campaign.
Tune into @scienceatUSDA or @USDA_APHIS and follow along with #chickenchat2015 on Thursday, April 16 at 2 p.m. EDT (11 a.m. PT) to learn how YOU can protect your poultry from this virus.
As part of its safeguarding mission, the USDA helps protects the health of our Nation’s livestock and poultry. We respond to major animal disease events, helping to keep dangerous diseases from spreading. We also work to reduce the economic impact of disease events.