Avian flu strikes again in California layer pullets

The presence of avian influenza is detected again in California and Kansas, while South Dakota has its first case of 2024.

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A new case of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) was confirmed in Merced County, California, on January 18.

This particular instance involved a commercial table egg layer pullet flock, with 285,600 pullets in the flock, according to information from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS).

This is the fourth case of HPAI in a commercial poultry flock in California during 2024, and the third in Merced County. The other two cases in the county were confirmed on January 3 and involved 764,300 layers and 534,800 broilers. The state’s only other detection in a commercial flock was a broiler flock in Sonoma County.

Upland gamebirds infected in two states

The only other two commercial operations to be hit since the last HPAI update on WATTPoultry.com involved commercial upland gamebird operations, in which the birds were being raised for release.

One of those cases was in Spink County, South Dakota, and involved 1,900 birds. That case was confirmed on January 16. The other was confirmed in Mitchell County, Kansas on January 11, and included 1,400 birds.

Kansas has had four commercial flocks affected by HPAI in 2024, while this is the first of the year for South Dakota.

In 2023, South Dakota had more flocks struck by the virus than any other state. During the year, 36 commercial flock infections occurred in South Dakota.

To date, four states have had commercial operations affected by HPAI. Those include California, Kansas, South Dakota and Wisconsin.

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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