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Bird flu identified in Fond du Lac, Oconto counties

Chickens on a Farm
Posted at 5:27 PM, Apr 29, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-29 18:27:40-04

MADISON (NBC 26) — Bird flu has been detected in Fond du Lac and Oconto counties, Wisconsin officials said Friday.

The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection has identified new cases of highly pathogenic avian influenza in backyard flocks, according to a DATCP statement.

DATCP said the flocks were "depopulated" to prevent the spread of the disease.

DATCP said bird flu has been detected in domestic flocks in nine Wisconsin counties. It has also been detected in wild flocks in 15 counties.

As wild birds continue to migrate, DATCP asks that poultry owners keep their birds indoors to prevent contact with waterfowl that may spread the virus.

Signs of bird flu include:

  • Sudden death without clinical signs
  • Lack of energy or appetite
  • Decrease in egg production; soft, misshapen eggs
  • Purple discoloration of wattles, comb, and legs
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Runny nose, coughing, sneezing
  • Stumbling or falling down
  • Diarrhea

While wild birds are considered a source of spread, domestic flocks can also be infected by contaminated equipment, clothing or vehicles. Proper disinfecting measures, including washing hands, changing clothes and disinfecting surfaces, can decrease the risk of infection, DATCP said. More information can be found here.