RICHMOND, VA. – The Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS) encouraged poultry farmers and producers in the state to use biosecurity methods with their flocks.

The state agency cited the recent cases of Highly Pathogenic Eurasian H5N1 Avian Influenza (HPAI) in wild waterfowl in North Carolina and South Carolina. 

“Biosecurity measures include preventing exposure of poultry to areas where wild birds are present and being vigilant about not bringing infectious materials from wild birds into contact with poultry,” said Dr. Charlie Broaddus, state veterinarian with the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.  

At the end of December 2021, a case of H5N1 was also detected on a farm in Newfoundland, Canada. 

“Since wild birds can be infected with these viruses without appearing sick, people should minimize direct contact with wild birds by using gloves,” VDACS added. “If contact occurs, wash your hands with soap and water, and change clothing before having any contact with healthy domestic poultry and birds.”

The agency pointed to biosecurity information that is available on the US Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) website.