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Avian Influenza (Bird Flu)

Status of Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza in Michigan

What is Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza?

Highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI), commonly called “bird flu,” is a virus found among various species of birds. HPAI viruses can infect domestic poultry, which includes chickens, turkeys, pheasants, quail, ducks, geese, and guinea fowl. For more information on current detections in domestic poultry across the U.S., please visit the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s webpage.

HPAI infects a wide variety of other birds, including wild migratory waterfowl. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) considers the risk to people from these HPAI infections in wild and domestic birds to be low.

Current Status in Michigan

In early September, the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) detected a new case of highly pathogenic avian influenza in domestic backyard poultry. 

Cases of the disease continue to be found in Michigan’s wild birds and mammals, so it is important now to take every step possible to protect domestic birds from this virus.

HPAI has been detected in Branch County, Genessee County, Ingham County, Lapeer, Kalamazoo County, Livingston County, Macomb County, Menominee County, Muskegon County, Oakland County, Saginaw County, Sanilac County, Tuscola County, Washtenaw County, and Wexford County.

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News Releases

December 27, 2022 - Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza Detected in Sanilac County Backyard Floc

October 11, 2022 - Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza Detected in Genessee County Backyard Flock

October 6, 2022 - Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza Detected in Lapeer County Backyard Flock

September 30, 2022 - Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza Detected in Tuscola County Backyard Flock

September 13, 2022 - Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza Detected in Ingham County Backyard Flock

June 13, 2022 - MDARD Director Lifts the Stop on Poultry and Waterfowl Exhibitions

May 11, 2022 - Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza Detected in Michigan’s First Commercial Poultry Flock

May 10, 2022 - MDARD's Director Stops Bird Exhibitions to Protect Health of Michigan's Domestic Flocks

May 6, 2022 - Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza Detected in Oakland County Backyard Flock

April 30, 2022 - Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza Detected in Branch County Backyard Flock

April 28, 2022 - Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza Detected in Wexford County Backyard Flock

April 27, 2022 - Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza Detected in Saginaw County Backyard Flock

April 18, 2022 - Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza Detected in Washtenaw County

April 15, 2022 - Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza Detected in Livingston County; MDARD Urging Poultry Owners to Take Steps to Protect Birds

April 12, 2022 - Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza Detected in Menominee County; the first instance in the Upper Peninsula

April 11, 2022 - Healthy Poultry, Healthy People: MDARD Encourages Continued Biosecurity with Spring Sales of Baby Poultry

March 25, 2022 - Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza Detected in Macomb County Backyard Flock; MDARD Continues to Ask Poultry Owners to Step Up Biosecurity

February 24, 2022 - Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza Detected in Michigan Backyard Flock; MDARD Urges Poultry Owners to Increase Biosecurity

February 17, 2022 - Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza not yet detected in Michigan but found in nine other states

How to Recognize a Sick Bird


Please Note: HPAI is NOT evidenced by one dead bird or one coughing/sneezing bird while the remainder of the flock is acting normally. Instead, for small flock owners, look for two or more dead birds within a 24-hour period and symptoms in the rest of the flock (not eating, acting lethargic or sleepy with eyes closed, tucking their head close to their body, and appearing to be puffed up).

The following hotlines are available for reporting suspected HPAI infections:


800-292-3939 (daytime)

517-373-0440 or 412-847-2255 (after-hours)



Eyes in the Field (Michigan Department of Natural Resources Online Form)


Whether you have a few backyard birds or a large commercial flock, following these biosecurity measures can help protect Michigan’s domestic birds: 

  • Preventing contact between domestic and wild birds by bringing them indoors or ensuring their outdoor area is fully enclosed. 
  • Washing your hands before and after handling birds as well as when moving between different coops. 
  • Disinfecting boots and other gear when moving between coops. 
  • Not sharing equipment or other supplies between coops or other farms. 
  • Cleaning and disinfecting equipment and other supplies between uses. If it cannot be disinfected, discard it. 
  • Using well or municipal water as drinking water for birds. 
  • Keeping poultry feed secure so there is no contact between the feed/feed ingredients and wild birds or rodents. 

More Biosecurity Resources

Small/Backyard Flock Owners:

Avian Influenza Information from MSU Extension Service

Backyard Biosecurity Video with Dr. Nancy Barr

Cleaning and Disinfecting for HPAI (PDF)

Protect Your Flock - Infographic (PDF)

Keeping Our Birds Safe from Avian Influenza Flyer (PDF) - from Michigan Allied Poultry Industries and MSU Extension

Commercial Producers:

Poultry Biosecurity Resources

Center for Food Safety and Public Health Iowa State University Avian Influenza Information

Secure Egg Supply Plan

Eggs and Byproducts | SECURE POULTRY SUPPLY (

Secure Turkey Supply


Wildlife Rehabilitators:

Biosecurity Guidance for Wildlife Rehabilitators (PDF) – from the Michigan Department of Natural Resources

National Biosecurity Resources from USDA:

Defend the flock

Defend the Flock Resources

Wildlife Management : Preventing Access to Barns and Other Facilities (PDF)

Wildlife Management : Reducing Water Access (PDF)

Wildlife Management : Protecting Food Resources (PDF)

Captive Wild Life Biosecurity (PDF)

Public Health

Human Safety

CDC News Release: U.S. Case of Human Avian Influenza A(H5) Virus Reported (4/28/22)

CDC: Bird Flu Virus Infections in Humans

CDC: The Risk of HPAI Infection in People is Low

CDC: Avian Influenza Information

APHIS: Public Health Monitoring Plan for USDA/APHIS Responders to Detections of Avian Influenza Virus in Poultry - English (PDF)

APHIS: Public Health Monitoring Plan for USDA/APHIS Responders to Detections of Avian Influenza Virus in Poultry - Spanish (PDF)

APHIS: PPE Recommendations during an HPAI Response (PDF)

Michigan Local Health Department Map

Food Safety

The management and elimination of HPAI disease includes practices that ensure no poultry products (meat or eggs) from HPAI positive flocks enter the food chain. As a reminder, it is essential that people follow proper food safety practices when handling and cooking all poultry and eggs products.

As a reminder, it is safe to eat properly handled and cooked poultry in the United States. The proper handling and cooking of poultry and eggs to an internal temperature of 165˚F kills bacteria and viruses, including HPAI viruses.

Avian Influenza Testing in Meat-Type Chickens—from USDA

For Veterinarians

World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) Avian Influenza Information

Michigan State University Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory’s Avian Influenza Resources

For Fairs and Exhibitions

Frequently Asked Questions: Poultry and Waterfowl Exhibition Stop is Lifted (PDF)

For Animal Control Officers

Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza Basics for Shelters (PDF)

General Resources

How to Recognize a Sick Bird - Poster (PDF) - Updated May 2022

Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza Basics - FAQ (PDF) - Updated May 2022

Indemnity and Compensation when Your Flock is Infected (PDF) - from USDA

List of Key Resources for HPAI – Infographic (PDF)

Michigan Poultry Veterinarians Viewer

Michigan Poultry Veterinarians GIS Map

Surveillance Zones & Control Areas: Definitions and Expectations - Infographic (PDF)

Farmer Stress and Mental Health Resources

MDARD/FRSAN Legacy of the Land grants / MSU Extension Farm Stress Program Resources

MSU Extension Teletherapy Program
MSU Extension partners with a therapy provider to provide telehealth services to farmers, farm families and workers.  

Michigan Farm Bureau Stress and Mental Health Resources

Media Resources

Photos from Michigan Allied Poultry Industries

Videos from Michigan Allied Poultry Industries