Bird flu leads to killing of about 1.8 million chickens in Nebraska

OMAHA, Neb. — Another 1.8 million chickens to be killed after bird flu was found on a farm in Nebraska.

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According to a news release from the Nebraska Department of Agriculture, NDA along with the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) have confirmed another case of bird flu, also known as highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI). The total number of cases in Nebraska this year has been brought up to 13. The most recent case was found at a farm in Dixon County, Nebraska.

According to The Associated Press, all of the chickens at the farm in Nebraska will be killed as an effort to limit the spread of the disease, which is similar to what other farms had to do when bird flu was found earlier this year. USDA officials said over 52.3 million birds in over 46 states have been killed due to the outbreak this year, mainly affecting chickens and turkeys on commercial farms,

According to NDA, HPAI is a highly contagious virus that is spread easily among birds through nasal and eye secretions. Manure is one way that it can spread. Symptoms include a decrease in water consumption, lack of energy, lack of appetite, less egg production or eggs are soft-shelled, nasal discharge, coughing, sneezing, incoordination and diarrhea. NDA said birds can also die suddenly even without symptoms.

NDA said that early detective is important to prevent the further spread of HPAI. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said the risk to people getting HPAI is low.

According to the AP, Iowa has had to kill about 15.5 million birds this year with about 6.8 million birds affected at 13 farms, making it the number one state. Nebraska shortly followed in second.

According to the AP, the bird flu outbreak this year has contributed to the higher prices of chicken and turkey as well as the rising costs of fuel and feed.

To report sick birds, immediately call NDA at 402-471-2351, the USDA at 866-536-7593 or call your veterinarian.