State officials say a strain of bird flu has shown up in two more Kansas counties.
The Kansas Dept. of Agriculture announced Friday that samples show cases of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) in two non-commercial backyard mixed-species flocks (poultry), one in Dickinson Co. and the other in rural Sedgwick Co. The disease previously was detected in a backyard flock in Franklin Co. and has been reported in other parts of the country as well. Its presence in Kansas had area zoos announcing precautions this week to keep it from impacting their birds. KDA has quarantined the affected locations, and the birds will be removed to prevent disease spread. Agriculture officials are urging anyone involved with poultry production – whether small and private, or large and commercial – to take measures to ensure their birds are healthy. The KDA Division of Animal Health offers guidance on its web site at agriculture.ks.gov/AvianInfluenza. According to KDA, HPAI is a highly contagious viral disease that can infect chickens, turkeys and other birds. It can cause severe illness or sudden death. Symptoms may include coughing, sneezing, nasal discharge, and respiratory distress; lack of energy and appetite; decreased water consumption; decreased egg production; incoordination; and diarrhea. Some birds may show no symptoms. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, says the recent HPAI infections do not present an immediate public health concern. No human cases have been detected, and birds and eggs from infected flocks will not enter the food system.