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Nebraska reports new case of HPAI in 1.8 million laying hens

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The confirmation pushes this year's total cases over the 50.5 million birds of 2014-2015.

The Nebraska Department of Agriculture (NDA) in conjunction with the U.S, Department of Agriculture’s Animal & Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) has announced another confirmed case of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI). This most recent case, which is on a commercial laying hen flock in Dixon County, is the 13th case of HPAI for the state this year.

The announcement also pushes this year's total HPAI cases to 52 million birds, significantly more than the record 50.5 million birds in 2014-2015.

According to NDA State Veterinarian Dr. Roger Dudley, the affected flock will be depopulated and will be disposed of in an approved manner. NDA will establish a 6.2-mile control zone, as is USDA policy, around the affected premises. Poultry producers should know the signs and symptoms of HPAI and notify NDA immediately of sick or dying birds.

HPAI is a highly contagious virus that spreads easily among birds through nasal and eye secretions, as well as manure. The virus can be spread in various ways from flock to flock, including by wild birds, through contact with infected poultry, by equipment, and on the clothing and shoes of caretakers. Wild birds can carry the virus without becoming sick, while domesticated birds can become very sick.

Symptoms of HPAI in poultry include: a decrease in water consumption; lack of energy and appetite; decreased egg production or soft-shelled, misshapen eggs; nasal discharge, coughing, sneezing; incoordination; and diarrhea. HPAI can also cause sudden death in birds even if they aren’t showing any other symptoms. HPAI can survive for weeks in contaminated environments.

NDA is encouraging bird owners to prevent contact between their birds and wildlife and to practice strict biosecurity measures. If producers suspect signs of HPAI in their flock, they should report it to NDA immediately at 402-471-2351. More information for producers can be found at https://nda.nebraska.gov/animal/avian/index.html or http://healthybirds.aphis.usda.gov.


TAGS: Poultry
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