Resources and information about highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI), the disease caused by infection with avian (bird) influenza (flu) Type A viruses.
Since December 2014, USDA has confirmed several cases of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) H5 in the Pacific, Central, and Mississippi flyways (migratory bird paths). The disease has been found in wild birds, as well as in a few backyard and commercial poultry flocks. The symptoms can vary from a mild disease with little or no mortality to a highly fatal, rapidly spreading epidemic (highly pathogenic avian influenza) depending on the infecting virus strain, host factors, and environmental stressors.
Avian Influenza: Where to Get Help
Where do I get help when I suspect a health problem in my poultry flock?
Biosecurity For Birds
USDA's Biosecurity For Birds initiative is a highly effective public outreach program that has made millions of people more aware and better prepared to deal with avian influenza. Its target audience is backyard poultry and bird owners, as well as pet bird owners.
Latest Avian Influenza News
Avian Influenza: Frequently Asked Questions for Pennsylvanians
August 6, 2015Information for Pennsylvanians about the biology of Avian Influenza ("Bird Flu") and recent outbreaks.
Eastern poultry producers brace for avian flu this fall as waterfowl migrate
July 21, 2015Right now, in the vast prairie pothole region of southern Canada and the United States' upper Midwest, waterfowl are mingling, raising their young and instinctively preparing to migrate, some leaving as early as August. All spring and summer these wild birds have shared aquatic habitats, food supplies, brood-rearing responsibilities and likely something ominous—avian flu.
What Are We Doing?
Penn State faculty members and extension educators are serving on a statewide avian flu task force chaired by Pennsylvania Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding. The group is developing action plans and procedures related to biosecurity; depopulation and disposal of infected flocks; issues relevant to small or backyard flocks; alternatives for youth poultry exhibitors at county fairs and other shows where live birds have been prohibited; and other concerns.
In addition, Penn State's Animal Diagnostic Laboratory routinely tests poultry samples for the presence of avian flu viruses and other disease pathogens. In the past, rapid diagnosis by the lab has enabled the state to contain avian flu outbreaks and limit costs.
Government Avian Influenza Resources
Penn State Extension Resources
- Biosecurity - A Practical Approach
- Biosecurity: Protecting Your Birds from Disease
- Controlling Birds Around Farm Buildings
- Frequently Asked Questions for Pennsylvanians
- Geese, Ducks, and Swans
- HPAI Respiratory Protection
- Penn State Extension Poultry Team
- ReadyAG Workbook
- Respiratory Diseases of Small Poultry Flocks
- Small Poultry Flocks