BROOMFIELD, COLO. — The US Department of Agriculture’s National Veterinary Services Laboratory (NVSL) confirmed positive cases of highly pathogenic H5N1 avian influenza (HPAI) virus in a mixed species backyard poultry operation in La Plata County, Colo. 

A flock owner notified the state veterinarian’s office of the increase in sickness and mortality in mixed species flocks on April 14. 

A veterinarian in Durango sampled two of the sick birds and submitted samples to the Colorado State University Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory for testing, with confirmation of HPAI made by NVSL on April 20, 2022. The flock was experiencing significant illness and was humanely euthanized on April 17.

Earlier this week, a commercial flock in Montrose County, Colo., also tested positive for the virus. 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said the HPAI cases do not present an immediate concern to public health and no human cases of the virus have been reported in the United States. Cooking poultry and eggs to an internal temperature of 165˚F kills bacteria and viruses, the CDCP said. However, no meat from the destroyed birds goes to the human food chain.