A state spokesperson says the current outbreak of Avian flu in Wisconsin is not likely a threat to humans, but it is a threat to domestic poultry.
Fourty birds in a backyard flock in Juneau county and 126,000 turkeys in a commercial setting have been affected so far. Raechelle Cline from the Department of Ag, Trade and Consumer Protection says the flu is spread from wild birds to domestic birds. She says while it has proven fatal to domestic poultry, it hasn’t killed wild birds. “Anyone who owns a backyard poultry flock or who is a commercial producer of poultry will make sure to practice proper biosecurity to prevent contact between wild birds and their birds.”
The H5 avian influenza virus was first detected in Wisconsin at a commercial chicken flock in Jefferson County on Monday. More than 180,000 egg laying chickens are likely to be affected. A backyard flock in Juneau County with about 40 various types of birds and a farm in Barron County with 126,000 turkies are being quarantined, and all the birds are being killed to prevent the disease from spreading.
Cline says the H5N2 avian flu is spread from wild birds to domestic ones through feces. “The wild bird can carry the virus from place to place, but they don’t tend to die from the virus like the domestic poultry do so you wouldn’t know that a wild bird is carrying the virus.”
Multiple outbreaks of avian influenza have occurred most recently in Iowa, Minnesota, Missouri, Arkansas, the Dakotas and Kansas leading to the depopulation of more than 1 million turkeys and chickens since January. Officials say the problem does not put the food supply or public health at risk.