MANHATTAN (KSNT) – An illness targeting birds has returned to Kansas, bringing with it renewed warnings for poultry farmers from the Kansas Department of Agriculture.

According to the KDA, highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI), also known as the bird flu, has made a comeback in Kansas. This week, positive cases were identified in Johnson and Neosho counties. Both of these new HPAI locations are in non-commercial mixed species flocks. The KDA is working closely with the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service for a joint incident response.

The two flocks have since been quarantined by the KDA. Birds on both properties will be depopulated to prevent the disease from spreading further.

Anyone working with poultry production, from the small backyard chicken owner to the large commercial producer, should review their biosecurity activities to assure the health of their birds. Any additional confirmed cases will be shared directly with local communities and announced on the KDA Avian Influenza website.

HPAI is a highly contagious viral disease that can infect chickens, turkeys and other birds and can cause severe illness and/or sudden death in infected birds. This outbreak has seen illness and mortality in a wider scope of bird species than past outbreaks, including wild and domestic waterfowl. If you own poultry, you are encouraged to keep an eye out for symptoms of HPAI which include:

  • Coughing
  • Sneezing
  • Nasal discharge
  • lack of energy and appetite
  • Decreased water consumption
  • Decreased egg production/soft-shelled eggs
  • Incoordination
  • Diarrhea

If you notice any of the above symptoms in your birds, immediately contact your veterinarian. Alternatively, you can contact the KDA’s Division of Animal Health office toll-free at 833-765-2006.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the recent HPAI detections do not present an immediate public health concern. For more information on HPAI, click here.