Avian influenza confirmed in birds living in Washtenaw County

This 2017 photo shows cage-free chickens on a Versova farm in Iowa. The nation's egg producers are in the midst of a multi-billion-dollar shift to cage-free eggs that is dramatically changing the lives of millions of hens in response to new laws and demands from restaurant chains. (Versova via AP) (Uncredited, Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

YPSILANTI, Mich.Washtenaw County officials released information that avian influenza (HPAI) has been found in wild birds.

The Washtenaw County Health Department wrote in a news release that all individuals potentially exposed to the confirmed cases are being contacted.

Both domestic and wild birds can be infected with HPAI. Officials hope to alert those who own or work with birds to remain cautious consistently.

RELATED: Bird flu identified in wild birds in Macomb, Monroe and St. Clair counties

What are the signs of HPAI?

There may be an absence of many of the routine signs of illness in domestic poultry, according to the DNR.

One of the major indicators of HPAI is sudden death and high death losses. Sick birds may show neurological signs like difficulty walking, lack of appetite, low energy, or lack of vocalization.

You might notice a significant drop in egg production, swollen combs, wattles, legs, or head. They could also have diarrhea, nasal discharge, sneezing, or coughing.

Ducks and geese are considered carriers, but geese generally do not pass on bird flu.


Residents who notice the death loss of three or more free-ranging birds should report it to the DNR through the Eyes in the Field app or by calling 517-336-5030. If your domestic poultry is experiencing severe illness or multiple death losses, contact MDARD at 800-292-3939.


About the Authors:

Elizabeth Washington is a Digital Producer and has been with Local 4 News since April 2022.

Kayla is a Web Producer for ClickOnDetroit. Before she joined the team in 2018 she worked at WILX in Lansing as a digital producer.