A highly contagious avian influenza virus has been identified in the Upper Peninsula.
Officials from the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development confirmed the diagnosis in a non-commercial backyard flock in Menominee County. The facility has been quarantined.
Highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) can be spread in various ways, including by physical contact between infected birds and wild birds, people, or equipment. Two other instances have been reported in the Lower Peninsula. All three are viewed as isolated events. No human infections have been reported.
With birds currently migrating northward, there is concern the disease could be carried in our direction.
Officials remind those who maintain flocks, however small, to follow appropriate safety procedures. Those include keeping your birds isolated from wild birds and other animals, stringent disinfection of gear and clothing, and frequent handwashing.
If you notice unusual deaths, a drop in egg production, a significant decrease in water consumption, or an increase in sick birds, contact MDARD immediately at 800-292-3939 (daytime) or 517-373-0440 (after-hours).