Coast to Coast: Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) Update

Bird owners should not relax their vigilance about wild birds yet. Migration season will be very active for weeks to come, and wild birds may pass through your area or may settle in for the summer breeding season.  In either case, their respiratory secretions and feces can spread the Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) virus. Please be cautious, and keep your domestic birds enclosed. It’s very difficult since birds love the early season browsing and sunlight of Maine springtime. Still, it’s worth it. Remember that, besides losing many of your own flock, HPAI affects your neighbors’ flocks. While the strain of HPAI that is circulating through the US has not been shown to create human illness, it’s still a risk (since avian flu viruses mutate rapidly).

Please review the article to learn more about the West Coast’s latest problems with HPAI: “Bird flu confirmed in Oregon, Washington”, Gillian Flaccus (Associated Press), and Rob Manning (Oregon Public Broadcasting), May 6, 2022. (Oregon Public Broadcasting website).

Submitted by Anne Lichtenwalner, University of Maine Associate Professor of Animal and Veterinary Sciences and Director of the UMaine Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory.