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Avian flu detected in wild birds, domestic flocks in 14 Colorado counties so far

The Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza has been detected in wild birds in Denver, Jefferson and Adams counties.

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.

RELATED: Bird flu in Colorado: How you can protect your flocks

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

Adams County

A bald eagle was confirmed with HPAI on April 26.

Jefferson County

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

RELATED: Avian influenza detected at Denver-area animal shelter

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

Weld County

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.

RELATED: More than 1 million chickens to be euthanized after avian influenza detected in 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

Morgan County

HPAI was detected twice in wild birds:

  • April 1, 1 snow goose
  • April 26, 1 turkey vulture

Pitkin County

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.

RELATED: Avian Influenza confirmed in flock in Pitkin County

Montrose County

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.

RELATED: Tens of thousands of birds euthanized after avian flu found in 2 Colorado counties

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.

Jackson County

HPAI was found in two wild birds:

  • May 4, 1 Canada goose
  • May 12, 1 pelican

Grand County

HPAI was found in a Canada goose and a turkey vulture on May 4.

Routt County

HPAI was found in a Canada goose on April 26.

Mesa County

HPAI was detected in 2 great horned owls on May 18.

Sedgwick County

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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