Avian Influenza Detected in Washtenaw County

A case of avian influenza has been found in Washtenaw County, making it the fifth 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 domestic parrots at a residential location from Washtenaw County.

The parrots at the residence had succumbed to the virus, and MDARD is working with the birds’ owners to finalize a flock plan, preventing further disease spread.

Previous cases of HPAI were detected in Kalamazoo, Livingston, Macomb and Menominee counties.

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).