SPRINGFIELD, ILL. —   The Illinois Department of Agriculture (IDOA) and the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) received notice from the USDA Wildlife Services of the first confirmed Eurasian H5 Avian Influenza (Avian Flu) in a wild bird in Illinois this year.

The state agency said that three Canadian geese in Will County were submitted for sampling on March 2. The findings were confirmed by the USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Services at the National Veterinary Services Laboratory on March 10. 

“While Illinois has not seen any Avian flu in backyard or commercial poultry within the state this year, this finding demonstrates that the virus is present and may be circulating within the wild bird population in Illinois,” IDOA said in the announcement. “Anyone that owns birds or is involved with poultry production, whether on a small or commercial level, should be aware of this finding and take precautions to protect their flock.”

The agency added that producers and owners should review biosecurity plans and prevent contact with wild birds and their droppings. IDOA also said it encourages producers to keep birds indoors when possible.