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Avian Influenza (Bird Flu)

USDA Livestock Updates

For the Latest on HPAI and Livestock: Visit the USDA’s Livestock Website

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. 

The virus also infects a wide variety of other birds, including wild migratory waterfowl. HPAI has even been detected in various species of mammals—presumably after the animals come into contact with infected wild birds. For more information on current detections in domestic poultry, livestock, and wildlife across the U.S., please visit the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s webpage.

Current National Status:

> Public health resources

Current Status in Michigan's Domestic Animals

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As detections of highly pathogenic avian influenza continue to be discovered throughout the state, it remains vital for every producer to take steps to protect their animals.

Cases of the disease continue to be found in Michigan’s wild birds and mammals. The virus was also recently detected in Michigan dairy cattle. It is just as important now as it was at the start of the HPAI outbreak in February 2022 for producers to take every step possible to protect domestic animals from wildlife and the germs they could be carrying.

Since the outbreak began in February 2022, HPAI has been detected in domestic birds from Bay County, Branch County, Cass County, Eaton County, Genessee County, Ingham County, Ionia County, Kalamazoo County, Lapeer County, Livingston County, Macomb County, Menominee County, Montmorency County, Muskegon County, Oakland County, Saginaw County, Sanilac County, Tuscola County, Washtenaw County, and Wexford County.

In April 2024, the disease has also been detected in dairy cattle from Ionia, Isabella, Montcalm and Ottawa Counties.

MDARD is continuing to work diligently with local, state, and federal partners to quickly respond to reports of sick animals and provide the latest information to producers, industry, and other key stakeholders. 

HPAI Detections in U.S. Livestock: For information on HPAI detections in livestock and ways to keep animals healthy, please visit the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s website.

News Releases

Choose below for news on HPAI:

HPAI Poultry News   HPAI Cattle News

 

How to Recognize a Sick Bird

Hotlines

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:

DOMESTIC ANIMALS:

800-292-3939 (daytime)

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

WILDLIFE:

517-336-5030

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

Biosecurity

Dairy cows feeding in a meadow

Cattle

Cattle Reminders: If cattle producers are noticing decreased lactation, low appetite, abnormal milk, abnormally tacky or loose feces, and/or low fever within their herds, please contact your veterinarian to determine the next appropriate steps to take before reporting.

  • Talk to your veterinarian about any animal health-related concern.
  • Isolate sick animals from others.
  • Minimize the number of visitors to your farm.
  • Prevent contact between your animals and wildlife.
Poultry in a hen house

Poultry

Poultry Reminders: 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).

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

  • Prevent contact between domestic and wild birds by bringing them indoors or ensuring their outdoor area is fully enclosed.
  • Wash your hands before and after handling birds as well as when moving between different coops.
  • Disinfect boots and other gear when moving between coops.
  • Do not share equipment or other supplies between coops or other farms.
  • Clean and disinfect equipment and other supplies between uses. If it cannot be disinfected, discard it.
  • Use well or municipal water as drinking water for birds.
  • Keep poultry feed secure so there is no contact between the feed/feed ingredients and wild birds or rodents.

Public Health

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the public health risk associated with HPAI remains low.

Human Safety

CDC News Release: Update: Human Infection with Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza A(H5N1) Virus in Texas (4/5/2024)

CDC News Release: Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza A(H5N1) Virus: Identification of Human Infection and Recommendations for Investigations and Response (4/5/2024)

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.

With regard to the latest detection of HPAI in dairy cattle across the U.S., according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Food and Drug Administration, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the commercial milk supply remains safe due to both federal animal health requirements and pasteurization. 

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

Michigan State University Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory: HPAI in Cattle

For Animal Control Officers

Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza Basics for Shelters (PDF)

General Resources

How to Recognize a Sick Bird - Poster (PDF)

Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza Basics - FAQ (PDF)

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

Michigan Dairy Cattle Photos

Michigan Poultry Photos

Michigan Dairy Cattle Video

Photos from Michigan Allied Poultry Industries

Videos from Michigan Allied Poultry Industries