Check your chickens for deadly flu, extension director says

Avian flu on Eastern flyway but not yet in Pennsylvania, says Dave Messersmith


Make text smaller Make text larger



Photos



  • Dave Messersmith, Pike County's Penn State Extension's Interim District Director (Photo by Anya Tikka



By Anya Tikka

— Avian influenza, a highly infectious disease that affects domestic chickens and turkey, has been identified recently in Tennessee, said Penn State Extension’s Interim District Director Dave Messersmith at Pike County Commissioners’ early May meeting.

“It’s not very close, but it’s a disease that’s very mobile, so it can move very quickly from one bird to another," he said.

He cautioned anyone who keeps domestic fowl to keep an eye on them for any signs of disease or possible deaths, and to report them to the Extension or the Department of Agriculture "so we can figure out what’s going on with a follow up.”

The disease doesn’t spread to people or other animals, said Messersmith.

The "bird flu," he said, is very contagious from bird to bird, and wild migratory birds can also spread it, carrying the disease although not necessary sick themselves.

“When they land intermittently, there’s a chance they mingle with domestic chickens or turkeys, and they can leave their droppings," he said. "It’s highly infectious disease, so even a small amount of contact can spread it. If they’re infected, they can spread it up and down as they migrate.”

The disease is limited to wild fowl — ducks and geese, not raptors, he said. But once a bird is infected, there’s no cure. Birds will die from it.

Nothing has been found in the United States this year except in Tennessee, indicating the disease is traveling on the Eastern flyway.

“In Pennsylvania, it’s a threat to the poultry industry, a big industry in Pennsylvania, while not necessarily in Pike County," Messersmith said. "But there are a lot of people who have backyard chickens, so the concern is for them to continue to monitor your flock, if birds are getting sick or dying, to notify us or the Department of Agriculture.”

Messersmith said the disease has been a concern in U.S. for a couple of years.

“It’s proven it doesn’t affect people or other animals, so there’s no concern for that,” he said.

Related story"No backyard chickens in Dingman, supervisors decide": http://bit.ly/2qxew5d


Make text smaller Make text larger

MUST READ NEWS

Image Missing Wild Acres woman returns home, Lake Adventure woman also found
— A Dingmans Ferry woman at medical risk who was missing since Sunday returned home of her own accord last night, according...
Image Bridge Preserve signs inspire interest in native plants
By Marilyn Rosenthal
— Charles Bridge would have been proud to see the new signs guiding visitors through the 300-acre nature...
Image Pike's Peek
Where have you seen this detail? If you think you know click on the photo and fill out the form that pops up.
Image Pike's Peek
Another great week for Pike's Peek players, who knew where to find the detail in last week's clue.
Bob and Judy Brumbaugh of Milford write: "Community Health Center, 221...

VIDEOS


Sign up to get our newsletter emailed to you every week!

  • Enter your email address in the box below.
  • Select the newsletters you would like to subscribe to.
  • Click the 'SUBSCRIBE' button.

Comments

Pool Rules



MOST COMMENTED



Weather in Milford, PA