Avian Influenza Updates


Avian Influenza Alert

Preventing Outbreaks of Avian Influenza Through Scienced Based Education Of:

Commercial Poultry Farmers

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Technical Service Personnel

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Backyard Poultry Producers

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Secure Food Supply (SFS) Plans

Commercial producers are encouraged to enforce biosecurity plans and develop Secure Food Supply (SFS) Plans, which are designed to provide business continuity in the face of a foreign animal disease outbreak.

Avian Influenza

Avian Influenza (AI), commonly called bird flu, is a disease found in some populations of wild water fowl that can infect chickens, turkeys, pheasants, quail, ducks, geese and guinea fowl, as well as a wide variety of other domesticated and wild birds. Once AI is introduced into domestic avian populations, subsequent spread is normally caused by domestic bird-to-bird contact or through contact with contaminated people, feed or equipment rather than through secondary introductions from the wild reservoir.

Each year there is a flu season for birds (just as there is for humans) and, as with people, some forms of the flu are worse than others. AI viruses can be classified as either low pathogenic avian influenza (LPAI) or high pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) based on the severity of the illness they cause in poultry. Most AI strains are classified as LPAI and cause few clinical signs in infected birds. In contrast, HPAI causes a severe illness with a high mortality rate among infected birds. Because some LPAI strains have the potential to genetically change into HPAI, authorities will depopulate flocks infected with those strains of LPAI before they have the potential to change to HPAI and cause severe mortality.

It is important that all commercial and non-commercial poultry owners maintain effective barriers to mitigate the risk of AI. Biosecurity tips to prevent contact between domestic poultry and wild avian species can be found at the following:

Historical Avian Influenza Incidents

  • September 29, 2022: Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) Detected in a Backyard Flock in Calaveras County

    The California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) with the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) have detected a case of Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) in a backyard flock in Calaveras County, California. As of today, HPAI had previously been confirmed in domesticated flocks in the following counties: Butte, Contra Costa, El Dorado, Fresno, Sacramento, and Tuolumne. To protect other California flocks, the infected locations are quarantined and the birds are euthanized to prevent further disease spread.

    In addition to domestic flocks, HPAI was previously detected in wild birds in the following nineteen counties: Alameda, Butte, Colusa, Fresno, Glenn, Mendocino, Napa, Placer, Plumas, Sacramento, San Francisco, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, Siskiyou, Solano, Sonoma, Stanislaus, Trinity, and Yolo. The viral spread is promoted by wild birds, especially in wild waterfowl such as ducks and geese, but many other wild bird species can also be a source of spread. Poultry owners can protect their flocks by increasing their biosecurity practices.

    Avian influenza is a highly contagious and often fatal disease in birds. The disease is spread through movement of infected or exposed birds, direct or indirect contact with infected wild and domestic birds or contact with virus on fomites (surfaces) such as hands, shoes, clothing, or feet and fur of rodents and other animals.

    Clinical signs of HPAI include sudden death, trouble breathing, clear runny discharge (from nose, mouth, and eyes), lethargy, decreased food and water intake, swelling (eyes, head, wattles, or combs), discolored or bruised comb, wattles, or legs, stumbling/falling or twisted neck. For more information and updates, please visit our CDFA Avian Health Program webpage. Poultry owners with flocks that have experienced any unusual/suspicious illness or deaths should call our CDFA Sick Bird Hotline at 866-922-BIRD (2473).

    Please report any unusual or suspicious dead wild birds to the California Department of Fish and Wildlife online at www.wildlife.ca.gov/Conservation/Laboratories/Wildlife-Health/Monitoring/Mortality-Report. If you have questions about wildlife rehabilitation, please contact California Department of Fish and Wildlife directly. Contact information is available here: Wildlife Health Lab - Avian Investigations (ca.gov)

    For public inquiries regarding highly pathogenic avian influenza in California, please call: 916-217-7517 or send an e-mail to cdfa.HPAIinfo@cdfa.ca.gov. For media inquiries, please call 916-654-0462 or send an e-mail to: OfficeOfPublicAffairs@cdfa.ca.gov.

  • September 23, 2022: Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) Detected in Wild Birds in Additional Counties

    The California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) with the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) have confirmed cases of Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) in wild birds in three additional counties: Fresno, San Francisco, and Santa Cruz. HPAI was previously detected in wild birds in the following sixteen counties: Alameda, Butte, Colusa, Glenn, Mendocino, Napa, Placer, Plumas, Sacramento, Santa Clara, Siskiyou, Solano, Sonoma, Stanislaus, Trinity, and Yolo.

    As of today, HPAI had previously been confirmed in domesticated flocks in the following six (6) California counties: Butte, Contra Costa, El Dorado, Fresno, Sacramento, and Tuolumne. To protect other California flocks, the infected locations are currently under quarantine, and the birds are euthanized to prevent further disease spread. The viral spread is promoted by wild birds, especially in wild waterfowl such as ducks and geese, but many other wild bird species can also be a source of spread. It is important to note that HPAI is widespread in Northern California and may also be present in other counties that are not listed (due to having no lab submissions from those counties). Poultry owners can protect their flocks by increasing their biosecurity practices.

    Avian influenza is a highly contagious and often fatal disease in birds. The disease is spread through movement of infected or exposed birds, direct or indirect contact with infected wild and domestic birds or contact with virus on fomites (surfaces) such as hands, shoes, clothing, or feet and fur of rodents and other animals.

    Clinical signs of HPAI include sudden death, trouble breathing, clear runny discharge (from nose, mouth, and eyes), lethargy, decreased food and water intake, swelling (eyes, head, wattles, or combs), discolored or bruised comb, wattles, or legs, stumbling/falling or twisted neck. For more information and updates, please visit our CDFA Avian Health Program webpage. Poultry owners with flocks that have experienced any unusual/suspicious illness or deaths should call our CDFA Sick Bird Hotline at 866-922-BIRD (2473).

    Please report any unusual or suspicious dead wild birds to the California Department of Fish and Wildlife online at www.wildlife.ca.gov/Conservation/Laboratories/Wildlife-Health/Monitoring/Mortality-Report. If you have questions about wildlife rehabilitation, please contact California Department of Fish and Wildlife directly. Contact information is available here: Wildlife Health Lab - Avian Investigations (ca.gov)

    For public inquiries regarding highly pathogenic avian influenza in California, please call: 916-217-7517 or send an e-mail to cdfa.HPAIinfo@cdfa.ca.gov. For media inquiries, please call 916-654-0462 or send an e-mail to: OfficeOfPublicAffairs@cdfa.ca.gov.

  • September 13, 2022: Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) Detected in a Backyard Flock in El Dorado County

    The California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) with the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) have confirmed a case of Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) in a backyard flock in El Dorado County, California. As of today, HPAI has been confirmed in domesticated flocks in the following 6 (six) California counties: Butte, Contra Costa, El Dorado, Fresno, Sacramento, and Tuolumne. To protect other California flocks, the infected locations are currently under quarantine, and the birds are euthanized to prevent further disease spread.

    In addition to domestic flocks, HPAI was detected in wild birds in the following sixteen counties: Alameda, Butte, Colusa, Glenn, Mendocino, Napa, Placer, Plumas, Sacramento, Santa Clara, Siskiyou, Solano, Sonoma, Stanislaus, Trinity, and Yolo. The viral spread is promoted by wild birds, especially in wild waterfowl such as ducks and geese, but many other wild bird species can also be a source of spread. Poultry owners can protect their flocks by increasing their biosecurity practices.

    Avian influenza is a highly contagious and often fatal disease in birds. The disease is spread through movement of infected or exposed birds, direct or indirect contact with infected wild and domestic birds or contact with virus on fomites (surfaces) such as hands, shoes, clothing, or feet and fur of rodents and other animals.

    Clinical signs of HPAI include sudden death, trouble breathing, clear runny discharge (from nose, mouth, and eyes), lethargy, decreased food and water intake, swelling (eyes, head, wattles, or combs), discolored or bruised comb, wattles, or legs, stumbling/falling or twisted neck. For more information and updates, please visit our CDFA Avian Health Program webpage. Poultry owners with flocks that have experienced any unusual/suspicious illness or deaths should call our CDFA Sick Bird Hotline at 866-922-BIRD (2473).

    Please report any unusual or suspicious dead wild birds to the California Department of Fish and Wildlife online at www.wildlife.ca.gov/Conservation/Laboratories/Wildlife-Health/Monitoring/Mortality-Report. If you have questions about wildlife rehabilitation, please contact California Department of Fish and Wildlife directly. Contact information is available here: Wildlife Health Lab - Avian Investigations (ca.gov)

    For public inquiries regarding highly pathogenic avian influenza in California, please call: 916-217-7517 or send an e-mail to cdfa.HPAIinfo@cdfa.ca.gov. For media inquiries, please call 916-654-0462 or send an e-mail to: OfficeOfPublicAffairs@cdfa.ca.gov.

  • August 30, 2022: Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) Detected in a Commercial Flock in Sacramento County

    The California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) with the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) have detected a case of Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) in a commercial turkey flock in Sacramento County, California. This is in addition to the previously confirmed backyard flock that CDFA announced on August 11, 2022. As of today, HPAI has been confirmed in domesticated flocks in the following counties: Butte, Contra Costa, Fresno, Sacramento, and Tuolumne. To protect other California flocks, the infected locations are currently under quarantine, and the birds are euthanized to prevent further disease spread.

    In addition to domestic flocks, HPAI was detected in wild birds in the following fourteen counties: Butte, Colusa, Glenn, Mendocino, Napa, Placer, Plumas, Sacramento, Santa Clara, Siskiyou, Solano, Sonoma, Stanislaus, and Yolo. The viral spread is promoted by wild birds, especially in wild waterfowl such as ducks and geese, but many other wild bird species can also be a source of spread. Poultry owners can protect their flocks by increasing their biosecurity practices.

    Avian influenza is a highly contagious and often fatal disease in birds. The disease is spread through movement of infected or exposed birds, direct or indirect contact with infected wild and domestic birds or contact with virus on fomites (surfaces) such as hands, shoes, clothing, or feet and fur of rodents and other animals.

    Clinical signs of HPAI include sudden death, trouble breathing, clear runny discharge (from nose, mouth, and eyes), lethargy, decreased food and water intake, swelling (eyes, head, wattles, or combs), discolored or bruised comb, wattles, or legs, stumbling/falling or twisted neck. For more information and updates, please visit our CDFA Avian Health Program webpage. Poultry owners with flocks that have experienced any unusual/suspicious illness or deaths should call our CDFA Sick Bird Hotline at 866-922-BIRD (2473).

    Please report any unusual or suspicious dead wild birds to the California Department of Fish and Wildlife online at www.wildlife.ca.gov/Conservation/Laboratories/Wildlife-Health/Monitoring/Mortality-Report. If you have questions about wildlife rehabilitation, please contact California Department of Fish and Wildlife directly. Contact information is available here: Wildlife Health Lab - Avian Investigations (ca.gov)

    For public inquiries regarding highly pathogenic avian influenza in California, please call: 916-217-7517 or send an e-mail to cdfa.HPAIinfo@cdfa.ca.gov. For media inquiries, please call 916-654-0462 or send an e-mail to: OfficeOfPublicAffairs@cdfa.ca.gov.

  • August 24, 2022: Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) Detected in Tuolumne County

    The California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) with the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) have detected a case of Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) in a California commercial flock in Tuolumne County. HPAI has also been detected in domesticated flocks in the following counties: Butte, Contra Costa, Fresno, and Sacramento. To protect other California flocks, the infected locations are currently under quarantine, and the birds have been euthanized to prevent further disease spread.

    In addition to domestic flocks, HPAI was detected in wild birds in the following thirteen counties: Butte, Colusa, Glenn, Mendocino, Placer, Plumas, Sacramento, Santa Clara, Siskiyou, Solano, Sonoma, Stanislaus, and Yolo. The viral spread is promoted by wild birds especially, in wild waterfowl such as ducks and geese, but many other wild bird species can also be a source of spread. Poultry owners can protect their flocks by increasing their biosecurity practices.

    Avian influenza is a highly contagious and often fatal disease in birds. The viral spread is promoted by wild birds, especially in wild waterfowl such as ducks and geese, but many other wild bird species can be a source of spread as well. The disease is also spread through movement of infected or exposed birds, direct or indirect contact with infected wild and domestic birds or contact with virus on fomites (surfaces) such as hands, shoes, clothing, or feet and fur of rodents and other animals.

    Clinical signs of HPAI include sudden death, trouble breathing, clear runny discharge (from nose, mouth, and eyes), lethargy, decreased food and water intake, swelling (eyes, head, wattles, or combs), discolored or bruised comb, wattles, or legs, stumbling/falling or twisted neck. For more information and updates, please visit our CDFA Avian Health Program webpage. Poultry owners with flocks that have experienced any unusual/suspicious illness or deaths should call our CDFA Sick Bird Hotline at 866-922- BIRD (2473).

    Please report any unusual or suspicious dead wild birds to the California Department of Fish and Wildlife online at www.wildlife.ca.gov/Conservation/Laboratories/Wildlife-Health/Monitoring/Mortality-Report. If you have questions about wildlife rehabilitation, please contact California Department of Fish and Wildlife directly. Contact information is available here: Wildlife Health Lab - Avian Investigations (ca.gov)

    For public inquiries regarding highly pathogenic avian influenza in California, please call: 916-217-7517 or send an e-mail to cdfa.HPAIinfo@cdfa.ca.gov. For media inquiries, please call 916-654-0462 or send an e-mail to: OfficeOfPublicAffairs@cdfa.ca.gov.

  • August 22, 2022: Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (Bird Flu) Detected in Fresno and Contra Costa Counties

    The California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) with the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) have detected a case of Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) in a California commercial flock in Fresno County. While this virus has impacted commercial flocks in most other states in the U.S. since last January, this is the first commercial flock to be found infected in California. HPAI has also been recently detected in a backyard flock in Contra Costa County. To protect other California flocks, the infected locations are currently under quarantine, and the birds have been euthanized to prevent further disease spread.

    As of August 22, 2022, HPAI has been detected in backyard flocks in Sacramento County, Butte County, and Contra Costa County and in a commercial flock in Fresno County, California. In addition to domestic flocks, HPAI was detected in wild birds in the following twelve counties: Butte, Colusa, Glenn, Mendocino, Placer, Plumas, Sacramento, Santa Clara, Siskiyou, Solano, Sonoma, and Stanislaus. The viral spread is promoted by wild birds especially, in wild waterfowl such as ducks and geese, but many other wild bird species can also be a source of spread. Poultry owners can protect their flocks by increasing their biosecurity practices.

    According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the current detections of HPAI in birds does not present a public health concern and the public health risk remains low. While not recommended, if you handle sick or dead wild birds, use disposable gloves (or a plastic bag turned inside out) to place the body in a garbage bag. No birds or bird products infected with HPAI will enter the food chain. As a reminder, it is recommended that all poultry and eggs are properly handled and cooked to an internal temperature of 165 ˚F as a food safety precaution. Please contact your local public health department for further information on preventing avian influenza in people.

    Avian influenza is a highly contagious and often fatal disease in birds. We are urging poultry owners to increase their biosecurity practices. Biosecurity is the measures taken to prevent disease from entering and/or leaving a premises or location. Although this outbreak of avian influenza is primarily being spread by wild birds, the virus can be further spread between domestic flocks through contact with infected poultry, from contaminated equipment, and even the shoes and clothing worn by poultry caretakers.

    Here are some biosecurity recommendations to help protect your flock:

    • Wash your hands before and after handling your birds. This includes when handling birds from coop to coop.
    • Prevent contact between domestic and wild birds by bringing your birds into an enclosure that is covered.
    • If you have bodies of water on your property such as ponds or ditches, consider draining them to avoid attracting wild birds, and keep your domestic birds away from this potentially contaminated water.
    • Use sanitized well or city water for your birds.
    • Prevent rodents and predators from entering your coop.
    • Prevent pets such as cats and dogs from eating dead wild birds.
    • Keep feed covered and spills cleaned up to avoid attracting wild birds and rodents.
    • Wash and disinfect boots and equipment when moving between coops.
    • Do not share equipment or supplies with neighbors.
    • Clean and disinfect equipment and other supplies between uses.
    • Clean and disinfect your shoes and vehicle tires after visiting feedstores and other places frequented by other poultry owners or wild bird hunters.
    • Avoid visiting places where wild birds congregate such as lakes and ponds.

    Report any unusual or suspicious numbers of sick or dead domestic birds immediately to the CDFA Sick Bird Hotline at (866) 922-2473. Monitor your birds for the following symptoms:

    • Trouble breathing
    • Clear, runny discharge from nose, mouth, and eyes
    • Lethargy or lack of energy
    • Loss of appetite
    • Drinking less
    • Swollen eyes, head, wattles, or combs
    • Discolored or bruised comb, wattles, or legs
    • Stumbling, falling, or twisted neck
    • Sudden death

    Report any unusual or suspicious dead wild birds to the California Department of Fish and Wildlife online at www.wildlife.ca.gov/Conservation/Laboratories/Wildlife-Health/Monitoring/Mortality-Report. If you have questions about wildlife rehabilitation, please contact California Department of Fish and Wildlife directly. Contact information is available here: Wildlife Health Lab - Avian Investigations (ca.gov)

    For public inquiries regarding highly pathogenic avian influenza in California, please call: 916-217-7517. For media inquiries, please call 916-654-0462 or send an e-mail to: OfficeOfPublicAffairs@cdfa.ca.gov.

    Stay Informed
    For the latest updates in California domestic poultry, follow us on social media and subscribe. You can find us on Facebook at Animal Health Branch – CDFA and on Instagram at AnimalHealthBranch_CDFA.

    For more information and updates on wild bird detections in California, visit the California Department of Fish and Wildlife website.

    More information on avian influenza and how to protect flocks through biosecurity measures can be found on the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s website.

  • August 11, 2022: Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (Bird Flu) Confirmed in California Backyard Flock

    Sacramento, CA– Following an investigation by the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA), the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Veterinary Services Laboratories (NVSL) has confirmed highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) in a backyard flock in Sacramento County. In addition to this confirmation, HPAI has also been detected in wild birds in the following twelve counties: Butte, Colusa, Glenn, Mendocino, Placer, Plumas, Sacramento, Santa Clara, Siskiyou, Solano, Sonoma, and Stanislaus. The viral spread is promoted by wild birds especially in wild waterfowl such as ducks and geese, but many other wild bird species can also be a source of spread. Poultry owners can protect their flocks by increasing their biosecurity practices.

    To protect other flocks in California, the confirmed infected location is currently under quarantine, and the birds have been euthanized to prevent further disease spread.

    According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the current detections of HPAI in birds does not present a public health concern and the public health risk remains low. While not recommended, if you handle sick or dead wild birds, use gloves (or a plastic bag turned inside out) to place the body in a garbage bag. Please contact your local public health department for further information on preventing avian influenza in people.

    Avian influenza is a highly contagious and often fatal disease in birds. We are urging poultry owners to increase their biosecurity practices. Biosecurity is the measures taken to prevent disease from entering and/or leaving a premises or location. Although this outbreak of avian influenza is primarily being spread by wild birds, the virus can be further spread between domestic flocks through contact with infected poultry, from contaminated equipment, and even the shoes and clothing worn by poultry caretakers. Here are some biosecurity recommendations to help protect your flock:

    • Wash your hands before and after handling your birds. This includes when moving from coop to coop.
    • Prevent contact between domestic and wild birds by bringing your birds indoors or ensuring their outdoor area is fully enclosed and covered.
    • If you have bodies of water on your property such as ponds or ditches, consider draining them to avoid attracting wild birds, and keep your domestic birds away from this potentially contaminated water.
    • Use sanitized well or city water for your birds.
    • Prevent rodents and predators from entering your coop.
    • Keep feed covered and spills cleaned up to avoid attracting wild birds and rodents.
    • Wash and disinfect booths and equipment when moving between coops.
    • Do not share equipment or supplies with neighbors.
    • Clean and disinfect equipment and other supplies between uses.
    • Clean and disinfect your shoes and vehicle tires after visiting feedstores and other places frequented by other poultry owners or wild bird hunters.
    • Avoid visiting places where wild birds congregate such as lakes and ponds.

    Report any unusual or suspicious numbers of sick or dead domestic birds immediately to the CDFA Sick Bird Hotline at (866) 922-2473. Monitor your birds for the following symptoms:

    • Trouble breathing
    • Clear, runny discharge from nose, mouth, and eyes
    • Lethargy or lack of energy
    • Loss of appetite
    • Drinking less
    • Swollen eyes, head, wattles, or combs
    • Discolored or bruised comb, wattles or legs
    • Stumbling, falling or twisted neck
    • Sudden death

    Report any unusual or suspicious dead wild birds to the California Department of Fish and Wildlife online at www.wildlife.ca.gov/Conservation/Laboratories/Wildlife-Health/Monitoring/Mortality-Report. If you have questions about wildlife rehabilitation, please contact California Department of Fish and Wildlife directly. Contact information is available here: Wildlife Health Lab - Avian Investigations (ca.gov)

    Stay Informed
    For the latest updates in California domestic poultry, follow us on social media and subscribe. You can find us on Facebook at Animal Health Branch – CDFA and on Instagram at AnimalHealthBranch_CDFA.

    For more information and updates on wild bird detections in California, visit the California Department of Fish and Wildlife website.

    More information on avian influenza and how to protect flocks through biosecurity measures can be found on the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s website.

  • July 15, 2022: Avian Influenza Virus Detected in Wild Birds in California

  • July 8, 2022: USDA Confirms Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza in Nevada

  • June 8, 2022: Avian Influenza Confirmed in Cormorants in Arizona

  • May 6, 2022: USDA Confirms Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza in Oregon and Washington

  • April 28, 2022: State health officials investigate a detection of H5 influenza virus in a human in Colorado. CDC Press Release: U.S. Case of Human Avian Influenza A (H5) Virus Reported.

  • February 23, 2022: The California State Veterinarian has imposed a quarantine and additional entry requirements on all live poultry, hatching eggs and poultry products originating from an area affected by an HPAI outbreak and entering California.

  • February 14, 2022: USDA Confirms Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza in a Flock of Commercial Broiler Chickens in Kentucky and Backyard Mixed Species Flock in Virginia

  • February 9, 2022: USDA Confirms Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza in a Commercial Turkey Flock in Dubois County, Indiana

  • January 30, 2022: The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) was notified of high mortality in a commercial turkey farm in Western Nova Scotia. The CFIA National Centre for Foreign Animal Disease has confirmed that the virus was H5N1, similar to the viruses reported in non-poultry and wild birds in December 2021 in the provinces of Newfoundland and Nova Scotia.

  • January 18, 2022: USDA Confirms Additional Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza Detections in Wild Birds (South and North Carolina)

  • January 14, 2022: USDA Confirms Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza in a Wild Bird in South Carolina

  • December 22, 2021: Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza H5N1 Detected in Eastern Canada

    Highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) H5N1 was detected in birds on an exhibition farm on an island off the Atlantic Coast of Canada. The exhibition farm contained multiple bird species (chicken, turkeys, emus, geese, ducks, guinea fowl and peafowl) as well as multiple mammalian species. This event is on-going, and surveillance is underway in the infected area and surrounding areas.

  • October 22, 2021: Avian Influenza Season is Here

    Waterfowl and shorebirds (known reservoirs of Avian Influenza) are migrating, and it is important to be vigilant to mitigate chances of Avian Influenza infection during this time. Here are some tips to keep in mind:

    • Ensure your flock is biosecure: Review your biosecurity plan and make sure your employees do so as well. Refer to CDFA’s Commercial Poultry & Backyard Poultry Biosecurity pages and USDA’s Simple Wildlife Practices Factsheet.
    • Know the signs of Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza.
    • Call your veterinarian at the first signs of illness, or if you do not have a regular veterinarian, call the Sick Bird Hotline 1-866-922-2473.
    • Keep an eye on wild birds: Check the CDFW Avian Investigations webpage for further details, and to know when to call to report dead wild birds. You can also refer to the California Waterfowl Tracker to better assess the locations of waterfowl relative to poultry farms.

    We have had four introductions of Low Pathogenic Avian Influenza this year in California in domestic poultry. All were spillovers from wildlife, two of them in October. Every farm carries a unique risk and, in some instances, poultry cannot be separated from wild birds; but where possible, we recommend separation through next May. We do not want to repeat 2014/15!

  • December 23, 2020: Avian flu season is here!

    Waterfowl and shorebirds (known reservoirs of Avian Influenza) are currently migrating and winter “avian flu” season is here. Unfortunately, current conditions are similar to those in Winter of 2014-‘15 when two strains (H5N8 and H5N2) of Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) were detected along the Pacific coast, first in wild birds and backyard flocks, then in two separate commercial poultry flocks in California. HPAI introduced by wild birds then devastated Midwest poultry operations. HPAI is a transboundary disease that is an emergency reportable condition and must be reported to CDFA within 24 hours.

    Two key factors make Winter 2020-‘21 similar to 2014-‘15:

    1. A high number of HPAI outbreaks (H5N8 and other strains) in poultry and wild birds in several Asian countries. This is key as three of the major flyways (East Asia/Australasia, Pacific Americas, Central Americas) mix in Alaska where birds can swap AI viruses. Birds in the Pacific Americas Flyway then migrate through California.
    2. California is experiencing a late wet season with less standing surface water, forcing birds to closely congregate at stopovers and making it easier for diseases to spread between birds.

    Wild birds are not going to change their natural behavior and therefore it is up to poultry producers and other bird owners to protect their birds against any possible HPAI by:

    • Ensure Your Flock is Biosecure: Review your biosecurity plan and make sure your employees do also, and refer to CDFA’s Commercial Poultry & Backyard Poultry Biosecurity pages. Simple Wildlife Practices.
    • Know the Signs of HPAI.
    • Call your veterinarian at the first signs, or if you do not have a veterinarian, call the Sick Bird Hotline 1-866-922-2473.
    • Keep an eye on wild birds: Check the CDFW Avian Investigations webpage for further details and to know when to call to report dead wild birds. You can also refer to the California Waterfowl Tracker to better assess the locations of waterfowl relative to poultry farms.

More Information on Avian Influenza

Field Contacts

To report sick/dead poultry:
CDFA Modesto District
(209) 491-9350
CDFA Ontario District
(909) 947-5932
CDFA Redding District
(530) 225-2140
CDFA Tulare District
(559) 685-3500
USDA-VS Toll Free
(877) 741-3690
To report sick/dead wild birds & wild waterfowl:
California Department of Fish and Wildlife Mortality Reporting
916-358-2790
California Department of Public Health West Nile Virus Center
1-877-968-2473 (1-877-WNV-BIRD)
(Hotline open April through October)

Contact Us

CDFA Animal Health and Food Safety Services,
Animal Health Branch

1220 N Street
Sacramento, California 95814
Phone: 916-900-5002
Fax: 916-900-5333
Email: ahbfeedback@cdfa.ca.gov
Our offices are open 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM Pacific Time.

California Waterfowl Tracker

California Waterfowl Tracker
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