Orleans has first confirmed case of avian flu in backyard flock

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 6 April 2022 at 11:43 am

Orleans County has its first confirmed case of the avian influenza. It was detected in a backyard flock, said Robert Batt, executive director of the Cornell Cooperative Extension in Orleans County.

There are no other details about what type of bird, how many tested positive and the location.

The state Department of Agriculture and Markets on March 25 announced the spread of avian influenza among fowl and said it would ban all live shows and exhibitions in the state with chickens, turkeys, ducks and geese.

The state will reassess the status of the ban in May, at which time the Extension will be able to determine if fowl will be included the annual 4-H Fair in late July.

The current outbreak of avian flu is rapidly expanding nationwide, Ag and Markets said on March 25. It has also been detected among snow geese and wild ducks.

“People can still protect their flocks by getting them under cover and avoiding outside contamination,” Batt said. “There’s a possibility of prevention with some urgency and diligence.”

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, these recent avian flu detections in birds do not present an immediate public health concern. No human cases of these avian influenza viruses have been found in the United States.

Ag and Markets advised commercial and hobby poultry farmers to increase their biosecurity measures to help prevent the spread of the disease. Poultry owners should keep their birds away from wild ducks and geese and their droppings. Outdoor access for poultry should be limited at this time.