Bird flu reported in backyard poultry flocks in Sauk, Pierce counties, DATCP says

First Case Of Human Bird Flu Infection Confirmed In Colorado
Charlie Neibergall - staff, AP

FILE - Turkeys stand in a barn on turkey farm near Manson, Iowa on Aug. 10, 2015. A Colorado prison inmate has tested positive for bird flu in the first confirmed case of a human being infected with the disease that has resulted in the death of millions of chickens and turkeys. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Thursday, April 28, 2022, that the man who tested positive had been in a pre-release program and was helping removing chickens from an infected farm.

MADISON, Wis. — Cases of highly pathogenic avian influenza have been reported in backyard flocks in two more Wisconsin counties, bringing the number of counties with bird flu cases in domestic flocks this year to 11, the state’s Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection said Thursday.

The two latest cases were found in Pierce and Sauk counties. Birds in both flocks will be killed to keep the virus from spreading.

The news comes nearly two months after the state’s first bird flu case since 2015 was reported at a commercial poultry facility in Jefferson County. Since then, cases have been found in both wild and domestic birds in various parts of the state.

DATCP is asking flock owners to take a number of steps to keep the virus from spreading, including keeping new birds away from existing flocks for at least 30 days. People should also thoroughly wash equipment and their hands.

The state’s Department of Health Services said there is currently “no imminent threat” to humans in Wisconsin “since there is little evidence of sustained human-to-human spread of the bird flu in other parts of the world.”

“It is difficult to predict if a bird flu virus will become a pandemic, but Wisconsin has plans in place to respond to that possibility, regardless of the source,” a notice on the agency’s website reads.

Poultry that has been cooked to at least 165 degrees is still safe to eat, health officials said.