The Kansas Department of Agriculture is asking those who own backyard chickens  in Leavenworth County to self-report their flock after the discovery of poultry positive for HPAIH5N2, an avian flu.
The city of Gardner has allowed backyard chickens since February. Currently, KDA is only seeking self-reporting in Leavenworth County, the site of the infected poultry.
Avian Influenza is a contagious, rapidly spreading viral disease affecting birds. Avian Influenza exists naturally in many wild birds and can be transmitted by contact with infected animals or ingestion of infected food or water.  No human infections have been detected.
“We are dedicated to providing the necessary assistance and precautions to avoid any possible spreading of the disease,” Dr. Bill Brown, Kansas animal health commissioner, said.
Symptoms in poultry include coughing, sneezing, respiratory distress, decreased egg production and sudden death.
Although vaccines are available, they are not commonly used because no vaccine covers all 15 strains of the disease.  Prevention is the best way to combat Avian Influenza.  Keep wild birds away from your home or farm, and stay informed about the health of neighboring animals.
The Center for Disease Control considers the risk to people from these HPAI H5 infections in wild birds, backyard flocks and commercial poultry, to be low.
The infected Leavenworth County flock was depopulated last weekend by U.S. Department of Agriculture officials, and the KDA has established an incident command post in Leavenworth County. As a part of the disease control and eradication protocol, a control zone has been established around the premise.  KDA employees have begun survey work within the control zone to determine locations of backyard poultry flocks.