USDA APHIS reports avian flu in West Virginia


February 20, 2024

LOGO: U.S. DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTUREThe U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) has confirmed the presence of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) in a non-commercial backyard flock (non-poultry) in Kanawha County, W.V.

This is the first case of HPAI in domestic birds in West Virginia during this outbreak, which began in February 2022.

Samples from the flock were tested at the Moorefield Animal Health Diagnostic Laboratory, part of the National Animal Health Laboratory Network, and confirmed at the APHIS National Veterinary Services Laboratories in Ames, Iowa.

APHIS is working closely with state animal health officials in West Virginia on a joint incident response.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the public health risk associated with these avian influenza detections in birds remains low.  As a reminder, the proper handling and cooking of all poultry and eggs to an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit is recommended as a general food safety precaution.

Per an APHIS news release, as part of existing avian influenza response plans, “federal and state partners are working jointly on additional surveillance and testing in areas around the affected flock. The United States has the strongest AI surveillance program in the world, and USDA is working with its partners to actively look for the disease in commercial poultry operations, live bird markets and in migratory wild bird populations.”

APHIS says that it will continue to announce the first case of HPAI in commercial and backyard flocks detected in a state, but will not announce subsequent detections in the state. All cases in commercial and backyard flocks will be listed on the APHIS website.

State and local health departments are helping to monitor people’s health. If you or any of your team have any of the symptoms listed on the fact sheet during the 10 days after your last exposure, contact your health department.


About the Author

Ellen Wagner

Ellen Wagner is the digital editor for PMP magazine. She can be reached at

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