Avian influenza continues to spread among wild birds in NC
In the past month, more than 480,000 turkeys and broilers at nine commercial poultry operations in Johnston and Wayne counties have been euthanized due to highly pathogenic avian influenza.
HPAI is also spreading among wild bird populations. According to data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, as of April 22, there were 143 detections of high-pathogenic avian influenza among wild birds in North Carolina. All but two of those detections were in the eastern part of the state with the majority occurring in Beaufort, Hyde, and Pamlico counties.
The most recent detections were reported on April 18 to a brown pelican in Brunswick County, a ruddy duck in Pamlico County, a bald eagle in Beaufort County, and a bald eagle in Davidson County.
State officials on March 16 confirmed the first wild bird mortalities due to HPAI were a snow goose in Hyde County, a redheaded duck in Carteret County, a red-shouldered hawk in Wake County, and a bald eagle in Dare County.
According to the USDA website, wild birds can spread the disease to new areas when migrating, potentially exposing domestic poultry to the virus. Wild birds can be infected with HPAI and show no signs of illness. Officials are asking the public to report wild bird mortalities to the N.C. Wildlife Commission Helpline at 866-318-2401, Monday – Friday, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m., or email HWI@ncwildlife.org.