The Nebraska Dept of Agriculture has confirmed the state’s first case of pathogenic avian influenza, better known as bird flu or H5N1, since 2015. It was found in a wild goose in the LIncoln area near Holmes Lake.
The threat of bird flu being transmitted to people is low and there are no confirmed human cases in the U-S, but the disease can be devastating to commercial operations because it is almost always fatal to domestic birds.
The Midwest has reported multiple cases in recent weeks, starting a month ago in a commercial turkey flock in Indiana.
In the past week, there have been 2 cases in western Iowa, the first in a backyard flock of chickens and ducks with the second in a commercial flock of 50,000 turkeys.
There’s also been one in a commercial mixed species flock in southeastern South Dakota bordering Nebraska.
Protocols for the virus call for infected commercial sites to be quarantined and the birds killed to prevent spread of the disease.
Avian influenza is an airborne respiratory virus that spreads easily among chickens and turkeys through nasal and eye secretions, as well as manure.
New Nebraska State Veterinarian Dr Roger Dudley says infected wild birds like the Holmes Lake goose can carry bird flu to new areas, so officials are encouraging those with either backyard or commercial flocks to remain vigilant and report sick birds at once