The United States Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is announcing the expansion of wild bird surveillance for avian influenza to include the Mississippi and Central Flyways. This expansion also enlarged the existing surveillance program in the Atlantic and Pacific Flyways, which is in place to conduct surveillance of birds that may interact with wild birds from Europe and Asia. APHIS confirmed highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) in wild birds in several states in the Atlantic Flyway in January as well as in a commercial turkey flock in Indiana on February 8, and this additional surveillance will increase our capability to track the disease throughout the United States.
Anyone involved with poultry should review their biosecurity plan and enhance their biosecurity practices to ensure the health of their birds. APHIS has materials about biosecurity, including videos, checklists, and a toolkit available on the Defend the Flock Resource Center. In addition to practicing good biosecurity, all bird owners should prevent contact between their birds and wild birds and report sick birds or unusual bird deaths to state/federal officials, either through their state veterinarian or through USDA's toll-free number at 1-866-536-7593. Additional information on biosecurity for backyard flocks can be found at https://healthybirds.aphis.usda.gov.
See also: 2022-2023 Detections of Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza for related news of the Eurasian H5 HPAI in the U.S.