WISCONSIN (WFRV) – New cases of the highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) have now spread to backyard flocks in Fond du Lac and Oconto counties.

According to The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP), both flocks were depopulated to prevent the spread of the disease.

According to a release, HPAI has now been found in domestic flocks in nine Wisconsin counties and officials are urging flock owners to monitor their birds and immediately report increased mortality or signs of the disease.

Signs include:

  • Sudden death without clinical signs
  • Lack of energy or appetite
  • Decrease in egg production; soft, misshapen eggs
  • Purple discoloration of wattles, comb, and legs
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Runny nose, coughing, sneezing
  • Stumbling or falling down
  • Diarrhea

As wild birds continue to migrate, DATCP is asking poultry owners to keep their birds indoors to prevent contact with waterfowl that may spread the virus.

While wild birds are considered a source of spread, domestic flocks can also be infected by contaminated equipment, clothing, or vehicles.

Proper cleaning methods such as disinfecting surfaces, changing clothes, and washing hands can decrease the risk of infection.

For more information about avian influenza, click here.