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Avian Influenza Continues in Maine Commercial and Backyard Flocks

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The risk for highly pathogenic avian influenza remains high in Maine, and backyard flock and commercial operators are urged to prevent contact between domestic and wild birds by bringing them indoors and ensuring their outdoor areas are fully enclosed.

Since February 2022, USDA’s National Veterinary Services Laboratories have confirmed the presence of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) in seventeen Maine non-commercial backyard flocks (non-poultry) located in Knox, Lincoln, York, Washington, Waldo, Cumberland, Hancock, and Kennebec Counties, and one non-commercial backyard flock (poultry) in Cumberland County. All confirmed cases are listed here.

From Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry:

DACF’s Animal Health team is also working closely with the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention (Maine CDC). Though this strain of avian influenza has not been detected in humans in the United States, Maine CDC is monitoring the health and wellbeing of Animal Health staff and flock owners who were exposed out of an abundance of caution. Signs and symptoms of bird flu infections in people can include fever (temperature of 100F or greater) or feeling feverish, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, muscle or body aches, fatigue, headaches, eye redness (or conjunctivitis), and difficulty breathing. Other possible symptoms are diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting. As with seasonal flu, some people are at high risk of getting very sick from bird flu infections, including pregnant women, people with weakened immune systems, and people 65 and older. The U.S. CDC provides information on avian flu transmission at this link. The Maine CDC’s Health and Environmental Testing Laboratory is prepared to process samples and quickly provide results for anyone potentially exposed to the virus.

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