The Kansas Department of Agriculture was notified Tuesday that samples collected from a commercial poultry flock in Crawford County tested positive for low pathogenic avian influenza (LPAI).

Crawford County, KS Image/David Benbennick
Crawford County, KS
Image/David Benbennick

The flock will be depopulated on Thursday by company officials and buried on site.  Working in conjunction with the Kansas Department of Health and Environment, a disposal area has been identified.  This area has been determined to be acceptable for the burial of the livestock carcasses based on data evaluated including groundwater depth, soil type, depth to bedrock and slope of land in the area.  KDHE will monitor the disposal site as part of their normal inspection of the facility.

Because this is LPAI, as opposed to Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI), no quarantine will be issued by KDA.

“We are dedicated to providing the necessary assistance and precautions to avoid any possible spreading of the disease,” Dr. Bill Brown Kansas Animal Health Commissioner said.  “Even though this is the low path variety, it still requires immediate action and animal health officials are responding.”

Symptoms of avian influenza in poultry include coughing, sneezing, respiratory distress, decreased egg production and sudden death.

If you suspect your flock has contracted the disease, quarantine the affected animals immediately.  Infected animals must be humanely destroyed and disposed of properly to prevent the disease from spreading.

Although vaccines are available, they are not commonly used because no vaccine covers all 15 strains of the disease.  Prevention is the best way to combat Avian Influenza.  Keep wild birds away from your home or farm, and stay informed about the health of neighboring animals.