Get The Facts About Avian Influenza
Avian influenza is a virus that affects bird populations. There are many different strains of avian influenza that cause varying degrees of illness in birds. The most common types of avian influenza are routinely detected in wild birds and cause little concern. Highly pathogenic strains of avian influenza are of greater concern because they are easily spread among birds and are typically deadly to domesticated poultry.
Avian influenza does not present a food safety risk; poultry and eggs are safe to eat when handled and cooked properly. There is no risk to the food supply, but birds from the flock will not enter the food system. No human cases of avian influenza viruses have been detected in the United States.
- Total number of affected premises: 2
- Total number of affected counties: 2
- Total number of premises confirmed positive for HPAI in 2022: 4
- Total number of premises released from quarantine: 2
Current Statewide Situation:
- Fulton: 1 (quarantine lifted)
- Webster: 1 (quarantine lifted)
- Fayette: 1
- Logan: 1
Premises by County:
The Kentucky Department of Agriculture has quarantined a backyard poultry site in Fayette County after an HPAI detection in October 2022. Commercial poultry premises in Fulton and Webster counties tested postive in February 2022 and were released from quarantine by May 2022 after testing revealed no evidence of HPAI remaining post depopualtion. Premises in Fulton and Webster counties were allowed to repopulate their flocks.
If you suspect a farm has sick birds, please call the sick bird hotline at 1-866-536-7593.
October 2022: HPAI detected in Fayette County backyard mixed-species site
In October 2022, the Kentucky Department of Agricluture was alerted of unexplained deaths at a backyard mixed-species bird site in Fayette County. Testing at state and federal laboratories confirmed the presence of HPIA in samples from that flock.
- Oct. 7, 2022 | Kentucky Department of Agriculture Press Release
- Oct. 11, 2022 | Situation Report No. 4
- Oct. 19, 2022 | Situation Report No. 5
- Oct. 21, 2022 | VIDEO: Dr. Katie Flynn discussing Kentucky's current HPAI situation
February 2022: HPAI detected in Fulton County commercial poultry operation
On February 11, a commercial chicken operation in Fulton County alerted the Kentucky Department of Agriculture of an increase in poultry deaths. Testing at state and federal laboratories confirmed the presence of HPIA in samples from that flock.
- Feb. 14, 2022 | U.S. Department of Agriculture Press Release
- Feb. 14, 2022 | Kentucky Department of Agriculture Press Release
- Feb. 14, 2022 | VIDEO: Interview with Dr. Katie Flynn
- Feb. 16, 2022 | Situation Report No. 1
- March 3, 2022 | Situation Report No. 2
- March 16, 2022 | Situation Report No. 3
- May 3, 2022 | Kentucky Department of Agriculture Press Release- Update of HPAI sites
- Sept. 15, 2022 | Tennessee Department of Agriculture Press Release- Kentucky in surveillance zone after Tennessee detection
- Oct. 5, 2022 | Tennessee state veterinarian lifts poultry restrictions after HPAI detection: Kentucky was in surveillance zone
Resources for producers
- USDA APHIS Avian Influenza Website
- Defend the Flock: Biosecurity for Birds
- Biosecurity for Pet Birds
- Biosecurity in 6 Simple Steps
- Understanding the Response Process
- What to Expect if You Suspect
- Alert: Information for bird owners
- Letter for poultry owners
Reporting Suspected AI
If domestic poultry or other farm birds exhibit signs of avian influenza, bird owners should consult their local veterinary professional and notify state or federal animal health officials.
Birds infected with the HPAI virus may show one or more of the following signs:
- Sudden death without clinical signs;
- Lack of energy and appetite;
- Significant decrease in water consumption
- Decreased egg production or soft-shelled or misshapen eggs;
- Swelling of head, comb, eyelid, wattles, and hocks;
- Purple discoloration of wattles, comb, and legs;
- Nasal discharge, coughing, and sneezing;
- Incoordination; or
Sick or dead farm birds can be reported to USDA toll-free at 1-866-536-7593.
Resources for consumers and the public
- Centers for Disease Control guidance regarding avian influenza
- The CDC reports that, “as a general precaution, people should avoid wild birds and observe them only from a distance; avoid contact with domestic birds (poultry) that appear ill or have died; and avoid contact with surfaces that appear to be contaminated with feces from wild or domestic birds.”
- The CDC also says, “It is rare for people to get infected with bird flu viruses, but it can happen. Bird flu viruses can infect people when enough virus gets into a person’s eyes, nose or mouth, or is inhaled. This might happen when virus is in the air (in droplets or possibly dust) and a person breathes it in, or when a person touches something that has virus on it and then touches their mouth, eyes or nose.” Please consult CDC guidance for further information.
- Again, there is no evidence that any human cases of avian influenza have ever been acquired by eating properly cooked poultry products.