Another flock quarantined: Six cases of bird flu in Wisconsin, more than 1 million chickens affected

BARRON COUNTY (WITI) -- The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection, in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Agriculture is responding to a detection of H5 avian influenza in a 90,000 bird turkey flock in Barron County. This is now the sixth case in Wisconsin and the second in Barron County.

While lethal to domestic poultry, the strain of virus detected is not known to have caused disease in humans and is not expected to pose a risk to public health or the food supply.

The property was immediately quarantined and neighboring properties with poultry will be notified about the situation.  Remaining birds will be depopulated and will not enter the food supply.  Following USDA protocols, surveillance and testing procedures will take place at properties near the affected facility to ensure the virus has not spread.

The H5 avian influenza virus was first detected in Wisconsin at a commercial chicken flock in Jefferson County on Monday, April 13, which led to the depopulation of more than 180,000 egg-laying chickens.  Since then four additional flocks were detected in Barron, Juneau, Chippewa counties and another in Jefferson bringing the total of birds affected to about 1.2 million in Wisconsin.  Multiple outbreaks of avian influenza have occurred most recently in Iowa, Minnesota, Missouri, Arkansas, the Dakotas and Kansas leading to the depopulation of nearly 7 million turkeys and chickens.

Dr. Paul McGraw, Wisconsin state veterinarian, amended a ban on poultry movement to shows, exhibitions and swap meets to include Chippewa County in addition to Jefferson, Barron and Juneau counties.

Wisconsinites are reminded that the avian influenza virus strain currently detected in Wisconsin and the other states presents low risk to public health. Poultry meat and egg products in the marketplace remain safe to eat. As always, both wild and domestic poultry should be properly cooked.

Officials are investigating how the virus entered the flock and may not have answers for some time.  Until then, backyard poultry owners and other poultry producers are encouraged to practice good biosecurity and to take steps that prevent contact between their birds and wild birds. They also should monitor their flock closely and report sick or dead birds to DATCP at 1-800-572-8981.

For more information on avian influenza and biosecurity measures, go to


Since the confirmed presence of highly-pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) in Wisconsin, state and federal agencies have been working alongside organization and industry partners to minimize the impact and eliminate the disease.

The information below summarizes the current situation and highlights response activities.

Latest Information (as of 3:00 p.m. April 23, 2015)

We have confirmed the presence of H5N2 HPAI in 2 additional flocks. The following Wisconsin counties were affected:

Barron – 2nd detection

Current Situation

Total number of farms – 6
Total number of counties – 4

Farms by County/Number of Flocks

    Total number of birds affected in Wisconsin – 1,288,856

    All affected farms remain under quarantine.

    Visit the USDA's website for information on all HPAI findings in the United States.

    Wisconsin National Guard personnel are assisting with the response to the first detection in Jefferson County. The 14 Guard members deployed to the site are assisting with cleaning and disinfection of large vehicles and equipment leaving the site.  They have specialized training in this function and are NOT involved directly in the depopulation efforts on the farm.