DENVER — As of May 23, a highly contagious avian influenza has been found in 14 Colorado counties, including several in the Denver metro area, since it was first detected in the state in March.
Four of those counties reported outbreaks in domestic poultry flocks – affecting more than 1.4 million birds – while other cases were in wild birds, according to data from the Colorado Department of Agriculture.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said as of May 23, 35 states reported poultry outbreaks and 38 states reported finding 51N1 Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) virus in wild birds.
According to the Colorado Department of Agriculture, HPAI has a mortality rate of 90%-100% within just a few days, so flock surveillance and disease reporting are critical to containing the spread of the virus.
Here are reports of HPAI in Colorado as of Monday, May 23, broken down by county, according to the Colorado Department of Agriculture.
Four times since March, HPAI was confirmed in wild birds in the City and County of Denver:
- March 31, 3 mallard ducks
- April 19, 1 great horned owl
- April 29, 1 green-winged teal duck
- May 4, 1 great horned owl
A bald eagle was confirmed with HPAI on April 26.
Two stray ducklings at Foothills Animal Shelter died suddenly on May 13 and 15, and one of them tested positive for HPAI, the shelter said.
Remaining birds in the shelter's care that were exposed to the virus were euthanized, which is a U.S. Department of Agriculture requirement:
- Three ducks
- One chicken
- One pigeon
- Three goslings were exposed to the virus and were later euthanized by Colorado Parks and Wildlife
El Paso County
Three times in April, HPAI was detected in wild birds in El Paso County:
- April 5, 1 mallard duck and 1 green-winged teal duck
- April 6, 3 mallard ducks
- April 8, 1 Canada goose
Avian flu was detected in a commercial egg laying operation on April 28, leading to the euthanasia of about 1.36 million chickens. The State Veterinarian issued a quarantine order for poultry in parts of Weld County.
HPAI was also found in wild birds two times in Weld County:
- April 29, 1 red-tailed hawk
- May 9, 1 red-tailed hawk
HPAI was detected twice in wild birds:
- April 1, 1 snow goose
- April 26, 1 turkey vulture
Pitkin County had the first outbreak of HPAI in domestic poultry in Colorado, reported April 8 in a backyard flock. The State Veterinarian reported that 35 out of 36 birds in the flock died. A quarantine for the backyard operation was lifted on April 22.
A commercial flock of 60,000 birds was euthanized after HPAI was detected there on April 19. A quarantine order remains in effect for parts of Montrose and Delta counties to limit the movement of birds in and out of the area.
La Plata County
HPAI was found in a backyard flock in La Plata County, and the flock was euthanized on April 17. A quarantine of the area was lifted on May 3.
HPAI was found in two wild birds:
- May 4, 1 Canada goose
- May 12, 1 pelican
HPAI was found in a Canada goose and a turkey vulture on May 4.
HPAI was found in a Canada goose on April 26.
HPAI was detected in 2 great horned owls on May 18.
HPAI was found in 6 snow and Ross's geese on March 24.
> Below: The Colorado Department of Agriculture map showing dates and locations of HPAI reports in the state:
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