Bird flu confirmed on Kent County farm

A case of bird flu has been confirmed at a farm in Kent County.

Federal laboratory testing has confirmed a highly pathogenic H5N1 avian influenza (HPAI) case in a commercial broiler farm in Kent County.

Following an investigation by the Delaware Department of Agriculture and the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Veterinary Services Laboratory confirmed poultry from this farm tested positive for highly pathogenic H5N1 avian influenza (HPAI).

This avian influenza detection follows previously announced cases on farms in New Castle County, Delaware, and Cecil and Queen Anne’s Counties, Maryland. Following these cases, federal and state partners have greatly expanded their surveillance sampling and testing regimen to better protect the poultry industry on the Delmarva Peninsula.

State officials have quarantined all affected premises, and the birds have been depopulated to prevent the spread of the disease. Birds from affected flocks will not enter the food system.

There is currently minimal risk to public health as there have been no human cases of HPAI in the United States. Avian influenza does not affect poultry meat or egg products, which remain safe to eat.

Avian influenza is a highly contagious airborne respiratory virus that spreads quickly among birds through nasal and eye secretions and manure. The virus can be spread in various ways from flock to flock, including by wild birds, through contact with infected poultry, by equipment, and on the clothing and shoes of caretakers. This virus affects poultry, like chickens, ducks, turkeys, and wild bird species such as ducks, geese, shorebirds, and raptors.

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