Officials in Wyoming have confirmed that highly pathogenic H5N2 avian influenza was identified in a wild Canada goose found near the state’s capitol city of Cheyenne. The case was confirmed on March 25.

This is the first detection of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) in Wyoming. The Wyoming Game and Fish Department and the state veterinarian have asked that people continue to be on the lookout for birds that may exhibit symptoms of the disease and advise that those handling birds or who own birds should exercise caution.

With the discovery, Wyoming becomes the 11th U.S. state to have at least one confirmed case of avian influenza. Previous confirmed avian influenza cases have been reported in Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Utah, Nevada, California, Minnesota, Missouri, Kansas and Arkansas. The virus has affected commercial poultry flocks in California, Minnesota, Missouri, Kansas and Arkansas.

“Over the past several months highly pathogenic strains of the Avian Influenza virus have been found in wild birds and domestic poultry in several new states including Wyoming,” said Jim Logan, state veterinarian. “We believe it is best if domestic poultry owners – commercial and backyard flocks – take precautions to prevent their birds from having any contact or exposure with wild birds. Avian influenza can be transmitted to domestic bird flocks from infected wild birds. We also advise domestic poultry owners to institute good biosecurity practices to prevent bringing pathogens into their facilities.”