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Avian Flu Confirmed in Alaska


May 02, 2022
Monday PM

(SitNews) - The first case of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) has been confirmed in Alaska in a non-commercial backyard flock of chickens and ducks in the Matanuska-Susitna Borough. Alaska’s Office of the State Veterinarian is working with the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) on a joint response. 

“With this confirmed case, it’s clear that migrating birds have brought avian influenza to Alaska this spring,” said Dr. Robert Gerlach, Alaska State Veterinarian. “We are relying on flock owners to keep an eye on their animals for signs of illness, and to report any possible cases of avian influenza promptly to their own veterinarian or to our office.” 

Flock owners should be concerned if they observe sudden death of multiple birds in the flock, nasal discharge, sneezing, and coughing, or respiratory distress. Other signs include a significant drop in water consumption, diarrhea, lethargy, abnormal behavior or difficulty walking, blue discoloration of the comb and wattles or a swollen comb, wattles, legs, or head. 

The risk to human health from this HPAI virus is very low, but it is highly contagious among birds and can affect all types of domestic poultry. Flock owners should take precautionary measures to protect their animals such as preventing contact with wild birds and ensuring the virus isn’t transmitted between domestic flocks on shoes, clothing, or tools. More information can be found on DEC’s avian influenza fact sheet

Alaskans can report suspected avian influenza cases in their own animals or wild birds to Dr. Gerlach at 907-375-8215 or

Edited By: Mary Kauffman, SitNews

Source of News:

Alaska Dept of Environmental Conservation

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