Alaska’s first case of highly contagious bird flu strain confirmed in Mat-Su chickens

Baby birds sit in a pile under a heat lamp
Baby chickens and a turkey await buying. (Abbey Collins/Alaska Public Media)

Alaska’s first case of a extremely pathogenic avian influenza pressure has been confirmed. According to the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation, the virus case was in a non-commercial flock of chickens and geese within the Matanuska-Susitna Borough.

The virus is extremely contagious amongst birds. According to the CDC, over 35 million birds have been affected in additional than 30 U.S. states, however the threat to folks is low.

In a DEC launch, State Veterinarian Dr. Robert Gerlach says the Mat-Su case confirms that migrating birds have introduced avian influenza to Alaska.

A U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service put up says samples from Mat-Su flock have been confirmed on the company’s labs in Iowa. It additionally says state officers quarantined the affected premises, and birds on the property shall be “depopulated to prevent the spread of the disease.”

Dr. Gerlach says the state is counting on chicken house owners to observe for and report indicators of the sickness, together with nasal discharge, sneezing and coughing, respiratory misery or the sudden deaths of a number of birds.

Precautionary measures for chicken house owners embody stopping contact with wild birds and making certain the virus will not be transmitted between home flocks on footwear, clothes or instruments.

The CDC reported the primary confirmed human case of the avian flu pressure within the U.S. on Thursday — an individual in Colorado who labored culling poultry contaminated with the virus. The CDC says the affected person’s solely reported symptom was fatigue for just a few days and that the person is being remoted and handled with an antiviral.

The CDC says it’s the second identified human case of this particular group of H5 viruses. The first occurred in December 2021 within the United Kingdom. The company says greater than 880 human infections with earlier H5N1 viruses have been reported worldwide since 2003.

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