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RI’s DEM Reports First Avian Flu Outbreak In Backyard Flocks

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RI's DEM Reports First Avian Flu Outbreak In Backyard Flocks

(CTN News) – Newport County, Rhode Island’s first reported outbreak of the avian flu was recently confirmed after a small backyard flock succumbed to the disease.

According to the DEM, the noncommercial flock, which included chickens, ducks, and turkeys, was humanely euthanized Friday.

The DEM believes that the domesticated birds came into contact with wild waterfowl, which are known to carry and spread the disease more often.

According to the DEM, euthanizing the small flock in its entirety was necessary both to eliminate the potential source of infection and to ease the suffering of the sick birds.

In accordance with the DEM, avian flu, commonly known as “Avian Flu,” has a mortality rate of more than 90% among most species.

According to the DEM, if the spread of the Avian Flu disease is not controlled by humanely killing infected birds, all poultry in the state could be wiped out.

A minimum of 120 days will be spent under quarantine at the site of the outbreak in order to ensure that the virus is eliminated from the environment.

The DEM stated that although humans are susceptible to contracting the virus, the public health risk is low.

A biosecurity plan should be in place and implemented by all poultry owners, according to State Veterinarian Dr. Scott Marshall.

A number of noncommercial flocks that have been infected have been found to have poor or nonexistent biosecurity practices, and most commercial flocks that have been infected have written biosecurity plans, but there have been breaks in these practices.

According to Marshall, biosecurity plans should include the following:

  • Keep people away from domestic bird flocks by restricting access

  • Separate domesticated flocks from all wild birds, particularly migratory waterfowl

  • Ensure that cages, coops, and clothes are clean and disinfected

  • Ensure that dead birds are properly disposed of

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