The Missouri Department of Agriculture has announced a positive case of highly pathogenic avian influenza, the first this fall for the state. The department said Wednesday morning that federal officials confirmed that samples taken from a chicken layer flock in Webster County, east of Springfield, tested positive for bird flu. The flock of 9600 birds experienced a sudden increase of mortality, and has since been depopulated. A quarantine of the affected premises is in place, and state officials are working with federal partners to provide surveillance and testing in the surrounding area.
Earlier this year, Missouri experienced ten positive cases of HPAI, spread between six commercial farms and four backyard flocks. About 435,000 birds were impacted. The state department of agriculture encourages all poultry producers to tighten their biosecurity practices around the farm. Producers should prevent contact between their birds and wild birds, and report sick birds or an unusual increase in death loss to a local veterinarian or the state veterinarian’s office. While HPAI is very contagious and deadly to birds, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention does not consider HPAI an immediate public health concern, and no human cases of these avian influenza viruses have been detected in the United States.
The Missouri Department of Agriculture is providing updates on avian influenza activities in the state, along with important biosecurity and virus-related information, on their website.