Dangerous flu found in chickens
A dangerous form of flu has been detected in a backyard flock of chickens roughly 100 miles away in Franklin County.
The site has been quarantined, and the mixed-species flock will be destroyed. However, officials are urging all chicken owners, even those with just backyard flocks, to review biological security.
The H5N1 influenza can cause severe illness and sudden death in chickens. Although it happens only rarely, it can jump to humans, causing severe respiratory distress and one of the highest lethality rates for all forms of influenza. However, no human cases have been reported in the United States.
In chickens, symptoms include coughing, sneezing, nasal discharge, and other signs of respiratory distress; lack of energy and appetite; decreased water consumption; decreased egg production or soft-shelled, misshapen eggs; lack of coordination; and diarrhea.
Bird flu can cause sudden death in chickens even if they aren’t showing symptoms, officials warn.
If any evidence of infection is noted, chicken owners are being asked to contact the Kansas Department of Agriculture at (833) 765-2006.
Last modified March 17, 2022