Department of environmental conservation: Avian Flu Confirmed in Alaska

    Juneau, Alaska (KINY) - The first case of highly pathogenic avian influenza, or HPAI, has been confirmed in Alaska in a non-commercial backyard flock of chickens and ducks in the Mat-Su Borough.

    That word from the department Saturday.

    They say the office of the State Veterinarian is working with the United States Department of Agriculture on a response.

    State Veterinarian Dr. Robert Gerlach said that, with this confirmed case, it’s clear that migrating birds have brought avian influenza to Alaska this spring.

    He added that they are relying on flock owners to keep an eye on their animals for signs of illness, and to report any possible cases of avian influenza promptly to their own veterinarian or to their office.

    The department said flock owners should be concerned if they observe sudden death of multiple birds in the flock, nasal discharge, sneezing, and coughing, or respiratory distress.

    They said the risk to human health from this virus is very low, but it is highly contagious among birds and can affect all types of domestic poultry.

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