Over 1.5 million chickens lost in first HPAI cases of 2024

Avian influenza is confirmed in four commercial poultry operations – including three in California – in early January.

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The first cases of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) of 2024 include three commercial poultry operations in California and one in Kansas.

Avian influenza in California

According to information from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), the presence of HPAI was confirmed in three commercial flocks in California on January 3.

Two of those flocks were in Merced County. One involved 764,300 table egg layer pullets and the other involved 534,800 commercial broilers. In Sonoma County, a flock of 77,900 commercial broilers was affected.

Both counties had multiple previous cases in recent weeks. In 2023, Sonoma County had eight commercial flocks affected by HPAI, and Merced County had seven.

Avian influenza in Kansas

On January 4, the presence of HPAI was confirmed in a flock of commercial table egg layer pullets in Rice County, Kansas. This particular flock consisted of 125,000 birds.

This is the third commercial flock to be hit in Rice County within the past month. On December 13, the presence of HPAI was confirmed in a flock of 700,000 commercial layers and six days later, the virus was confirmed in a flock of 800,000 commercial layers.

To learn more about HPAI cases in commercial poultry flocks in the United States, Mexico and Canada, see an interactive map on WATTPoultry.com.   

View our continuing coverage of the global avian influenza situation

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