Highly pathogenic bird flu confirmed in Racine County flock

RACINE COUNTY, Wis. (CBS 58) -- The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP) announced Friday a confirmed case of avian influenza in a Racine County poultry flock.

Birds on the property were depopulated to prevent spread of the disease, and DATCP and the U.S. Department of Agriculture continue working with animal health officials on a joint incident response. 

Three Wisconsin counties -- Jefferson, Rock and Racine -- have now been confirmed to have cases of highly pathogenic avian influenza in domestic birds. 

Last month, the Wisconsin DNR announced that five counties -- Dane, Columbia, Grant, Milwaukee and Polk -- were confirmed to have avian influenza among the wild bird population. 

Poultry owners are asked to continue using strong biosecurity practices and move birds indoors when possible. 

DATCP also encourages poultry owners to register their premises

Signs of HPAI in infected birds 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

To report increased mortality or signs of illness among domestic birds, contact DATCP at 608-224-4872 (business hours) or 800-943-0003 (after hours and weekends).

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