Avian influenza is a virus that affects bird populations. There are many different strains of avian influenza that cause varying degrees of illness in birds. The most common types of avian influenza are routinely detected in wild birds and cause little concern. The primary difference between Low Pathogenic Avian Influenza (LPAI) and Highly Pathogenic Influenza (HPAI) is mortality rate in domesticated poultry. A slight change to the viral structure can make a virus deadly for birds. Avian influenza virus strains often occur naturally in wild migratory birds without causing illness in those birds. With LPAI, domesticated chickens and turkeys may show little or no signs of illness. However, HPAI is often fatal for domesticated poultry. While LPAI is different from HPAI, control measures are still recommended as a precautionary measure.
Reporting Sick or Dead Farm Birds: .
If domestic poultry or other farm birds exhibit signs of avian influenza (ranging from sneezing, coughing and ruffled feathers to sudden and high numbers of bird losses), bird owners should consult their local veterinary professional and notify state or federal animal health officials. Nationally, sick or dead farm birds can be reported to USDA toll-free at 1-866-536-7593, or in Georgia, contact the Hotline for Avian Influenza at (855) 491-1432
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