Last Updated: November 29, 2022

picture of chickens

What is Avian Influenza?

Avian influenza viruses, commonly called “bird flu,” are influenza type A viruses that naturally occur in bird populations. The viruses are transmitted from bird to bird through fecal droppings, saliva, and nasal discharges. Avian influenza viruses can infect poultry (such as chickens, turkeys, pheasants, quail, domestic ducks, geese, and guinea fowl) and wild birds (especially waterfowl).

How Does Avian Influenza Spread?

Birds along the North American flyways can intermingle with infected birds from Europe and Asia. Positive tests in wild waterfowl can occur, and waterfowl can be infected and show no signs of illness. There is a risk for spillover from wild birds into domestic poultry and then spill back from poultry to wild birds, resulting in further spread.

Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) is a serious disease and requires rapid response because it is highly contagious and often fatal to chickens. The goal is to quickly contain and eradicate the disease, protecting our poultry industry, and in turn, the American consumer.

Due to the Avian Influenza response, please submit a permit request form in order to move poultry.

Low pathogenicity avian influenza (LPAI) viruses typically cause little or no clinical signs in infected poultry. The LPAI virus is excreted through infected birds’ feces and respiratory secretions. It spreads primarily through direct contact between healthy and infected birds. It can also be spread through indirect contact with contaminated equipment and materials. Low pathogenicity avian influenza (LPAI) virus strains occur naturally in wild migratory waterfowl and shorebirds without causing illness.

Positive Cases of HPAI in Missouri

Case Number County Date Confirmed Positive Type of Operation Status
1 Stoddard 3/3/22 Commercial Broiler Chickens Depopulated
2 Bates 3/4/22 Non-Commercial Backyard (Non-Poultry) Depopulated
3 Jasper 3/8/22 Commercial Meat-Type Turkey Depopulated
4 Lawrence 3/9/22 Commercial Turkey Breeder Replacement Hens Depopulated
5 Ralls 3/15/22 Non-Commercial Backyard (Non-Poultry) Depopulated
6 Gentry 3/25/22 Non-Commercial Backyard (Non-Poultry) Depopulated
7 Jasper 3/31/22 Commercial Meat-Type Turkey Depopulated
8 Lawrence 4/5/22 Commercial Meat-Type Turkey Depopulated
9 Dade 4/6/22 Commercial Meat-Type Turkey Depopulated
10 Jackson 10/18/22 Backyard Producer (Non-Poultry) Quarantined
11 Webster 11/22/22 Non-Commercial Backyard Poultry Depopulated
12 Webster 11/28/22 Commercial Meat-Type Turkey Depopulated

Current Statewide Situation

Total number of affected premises = 12
Total number of affected counties = 9

Frequently Asked Questions

Is chicken and other poultry safe to eat?

Chicken and other poultry products are safe to eat if they are properly handled and cooked. The affected birds have been quarantined and will not affect the food supply.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) considers the risk to the general public from these infections in wild birds, backyard flocks, and commercial poultry, to be low.

What can bird owners do to protect their flocks?

What are the warning signs?

  • Decrease in water or feed consumption
  • Respiratory signs, such as coughing and sneezing
  • Quietness among the flock
  • Decrease in egg production
  • Sudden increase of death in your flock