Avian influenza strain confirmed in Wisconsin's wild birds: DNR

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) announced on Thursday, March 31 that EA H5 Avian Influenza, a strain that is highly pathogenic for poultry, has been detected in wild birds in the state.

A news release says samples were collected from a Canada goose from Milwaukee County, a Cooper’s hawk and a bald eagle submitted from Dane County, a lesser scaup from Columbia County, a red-tailed hawk from Grant County, and a trumpeter swan from Polk County.   

This announcement follows preliminary positive results found by the U.S. Geological Survey's National Wildlife Health Center and confirmed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture's National Veterinary Services Laboratory on March 30 and March 31.

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On March 14, the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP) announced the detection of HPAI in domestic poultry in Jefferson County. The DNR continues to work closely with state and federal partners to monitor for this virus.

The strain of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) is affecting the health of some domestic and wild North American birds is known as EA H5N1. It has caused disease in domestic and wild birds in multiple states since it was first detected in North America in December 2021.

Human health

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, this strain of HPAI does not present an immediate public health concern, and no human cases of avian influenza have been found in the United States.

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Wisconsin actively monitors for human cases of avian influenza and has plans in place to respond, if necessary. More information about how avian flu affects humans is available on the Wisconsin Department of Health Services website.

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