Avian Influenza Detected in Menominee County

A case of avian influenza has been found in Menominee County, making it the third case of the highly contagious virus found in Michigan this year.

Following an investigation by the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Veterinary Services Laboratories confirmed the presence of avian influenza (HPAI) in a non-commercial backyard flock from Menominee County. This is the first case of HPAI in the Upper Peninsula.

Previous cases of HPAI were detected in domestic birds in Kalamazoo and Macomb counties.

“As wild birds continue their spring migration and spread the disease, it’s critical Michigan’s backyard and commercial flock owners take every possible precaution to protect their birds through biosecurity. Maintaining the health of Michigan’s domestic birds is a team effort,” said State Veterinarian Dr. Nora Wineland. “Increasing biosecurity protects not only your flock but others around the state. Now more than ever, it is essential poultry owners to take every step possible to keep wild birds away from their flocks and follow strict biosecurity measures.”

HPAI is a highly contagious virus that 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. To protect other flocks in Michigan, the premises is currently under quarantine, and the birds will be depopulated to prevent further disease spread.

According to MDARD, the following biosecurity measures is fundamental to protect the health and vitality of Michigan’s domestic birds:

  • Prevent contact between domestic and wild birds by bringing them indoors or ensuring their outdoor area is fully enclosed.
  • Wash your hands before and after handling birds as well as when moving between different coops.
  • Disinfecting boots and other gear when moving between coops.
  • Do not share equipment or other supplies between coops or other farms.
  • Cleaning and disinfecting equipment and other supplies between uses. If it cannot be disinfected, discard it.
  • Using well or municipal water as drinking water for birds.
  • Keep poultry feed secure to ensure there is no contact between the feed/feed ingredients and wild birds or rodents.

Poultry owners and caretakers should watch for unusual deaths, a drop in egg production, a significant decrease in water consumption, or an increase in sick birds. If avian influenza is suspected, contact MDARD immediately at 800-292-3939 (daytime) or 517-373-0440 (after-hours).