The Michigan DNR has confirmed that three free-range goslings in Malcomb County have tested positive for a highly pathogenic avian influenza.
An official news release from the Michigan DNR (Department of Natural Resources), in a joint investigation with the Michigan Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD), has confirmed the state’s first confirmed cases of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) H5N2.
The goslings were collected last week in Sterling Heights and were tested by the Michigan DNR and the tests were later confirmed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Veterinary Services Lab.
The official statement says that the risk of humans being infected by HPAI is still considered low, but the Michigan DNR is focused on preventing the spread of HPAI and is moving quickly to a State Wildlife HPAI Plan that was developed in 2006.
The plan calls for the Michigan DNR to set up what they call an Avian Influenza (AI) Core Area which will form a 10-mile radius location where the birds initially diagnosed were found. They will then keep close watch on all the birds in that area and discontinue any relocation efforts within or near that area, and testing for HPAI will be increased in the surrounding area for all birds.
HPAI can be hard to diagnose due to the lack of signs of sickness before the animal’s death. Death often occurs suddenly and sometimes while the bird is mid-flight. If you see this or have any suspicions that a group of three or more birds may have HPAI, the Michigan DNR asks that you contact them immediately by calling 517-336-5030.
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