Bird Flu making its way down south

Published 2:09 pm Sunday, October 15, 2023

JACKSON — Winter is coming and migrating birds are making their way down south bringing Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza with them. Last year, Lawerence and Copiah Counties had outbreaks of HPAI in commercial poultry.

United States Department of Agriculture Animal Plant Health Inspection Service shows the disease is starting to pop up again in northern states such as Montana, North and South Dakota and Minnesota following the southern migration of waterfowl. Commercially, 350,000 birds in the poultry industry are effected by HPAI so far this month after 0 positives from June to September. The same pattern occurred last year.

“HPAI virus strains are extremely infectious, often fatal to chickens, and can spread rapidly from flock-to-flock,” APHIS reports.

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Biosecurity such as washing hands, limiting outside visitors and keeping an eye out for the disease are ways to help defend the flock. 

Mississippi has had two wild birds test positive for HPAI so far this fall. A bald eagle tested positive in Harrison County back in August and a blue-winged teal tested positive in September Issaquena County after it was killed by a hunter.

Visit Mississippi State Extension Service to learn more about HPAI in Mississippi.