Just one day after the USDA confirmed avian influenza in a Wisconsin chicken flock, The New Mexico Department of Game and Fish today is reporting a lone bird at Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge has tested positive for a highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) strain that affects wild and domestic fowl, but is not known to be harmful to humans, officials announced.
This makes New Mexico the 15th state to report HPAI.
A cinnamon teal duck was one of 196 birds tested at the refuge for the disease that was first detected in the United States in late 2014. It was the first bird in New Mexico to test positive for the highly pathogenic strain. It is unknown whether the duck was migrating through the state. Most migratory birds have left the refuge for their northern nesting areas.
Dr. Kerry Mower, wildlife disease specialist for the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish, said although the disease poses no threat to humans, people should take precautions to protect their domestic flocks of chickens and other birds. The best way to do that, he said, is to isolate domestic flocks and avoid contact with wild birds.
The strains of the avian flu virus that have been found in the United States are not the same as the virus strain that has infected humans in Asia, Africa, the Pacific, Europe, the Near East and Canada.