SHAWNEE COUNTY (KSNT) – A backyard flock of birds has been confirmed to have a case of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) in Shawnee County.
This latest case of HPAI, also known as the bird flu, was identified by the Kansas Department of Agriculture. It is the third confirmed case of HPAI in Kansas this fall. Six cases were identified earlier this year in March and April for a total of nine counties across the state so far in 2022.
“The widespread nature of the positive premises in Kansas is proof that all counties are susceptible to HPAI because the risk is from the wild birds traveling across the state,” said Dr. Justin Smith, Kansas Animal Health Commissioner. “If you have not yet taken steps to protect your backyard flocks, now is the time to take this threat seriously.”
The case of HPAI in Shawnee County is in a non-commercial mixed-species flock. The KDA is working closely with the U.S. Department of Agriculture-Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service on a joint incident response. The flock has been quarantined by the KDA and birds on the property have been depopulated to prevent the spread of the disease.
The KDA asks anyone who owns poultry in the following area on the north side of Topeka to contact the KDA phone back at 833-765-2006 or email them at email@example.com to work with state and local officials to prevent the further spread of the disease. You can also self-report your birds by clicking here.
The reporting area listed by the KDA is from 21st Street (to the south) to 94th Street (to the north) between Highway 4 (to the east) and Humphrey Road (to the west). The area does include the north half of Topeka as well as the towns of Elmont and Menoken. It does not include Silver Lake, Meriden, or Hoyt.
The KDA advises owners of backyard poultry flocks to be particularly vigilant in protecting their birds. Analysis of this outbreak of HPAI has shown that the spread has been primarily from wild migratory waterfowl, which makes free-range backyard flocks at high risk because of the potential of exposure to wild birds.
Anyone involved 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. You can find guidance on biosecurity measures on the KDA Division of Animal Health website by clicking here.
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.
Symptoms of HPAI include coughing, sneezing, nasal discharge, and other signs of respiratory distress; lack of energy and appetite; decreased water consumption; decreased egg production and/or soft-shelled, misshapen eggs; incoordination; and diarrhea. HPAI can also cause sudden death in birds even if they aren’t showing other symptoms.
If you see these symptoms in your birds, immediately contact your veterinarian. If you don’t have a regular veterinarian, contact the KDA’s Division of Animal Health office toll-free at 833-765-2006.