Animal Health Officials Monitoring Avian Influenza Outbreak
Animal health officials with the North Dakota Game and Fish Department and North Dakota Department of Agriculture are monitoring a national outbreak of a foreign strain of highly pathogenic avian influenza detected in a number of central and eastern states since December.
The virus can cause high levels of sickness and death in domestic poultry but has also been attributed to a number of cases in free ranging waterfowl, shorebirds and raptors. Cases of HPAI may be detected in North Dakota as waterfowl migrate into the state and may persist into spring.
Avian influenza viruses rarely infect people, but hunters should consider precautions to limit exposure. These include avoiding handling sick animals, wearing gloves when dressing game, washing hands and equipment thoroughly, and cooking meat to an internal temperature of 165 degrees.
The Game and Fish Department asks the public’s help in monitoring the outbreak in wild birds. Report any sick or dead birds through the online form gf.nd.gov/mortality-report.
The Department of Agriculture encourages poultry owners to use biosecurity measures such as: keeping visitors to a minimum, washing hands before and after contact with live poultry, changing clothes before and after exiting their property, and looking for signs of illness. Report sick domestic birds to U.S. Department of Agriculture (1-866-536-7593).
More information about HPAI can be found at usgs.gov/centers/nwhc.