2022/2023 HPAI Outbreak
Since March 2022, the Colorado Department of Agriculture has led a response to the outbreak of Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI).
HPAI continues to pose a threat to Colorado's domestic birds. Bird owners should maintain biosecurity measures such as keeping their flocks away from wild birds and not touching any dead wild birds.
Domestic bird owners should take extra precautions to avoid introducing the HPAI virus to their flocks, including:
- preventing interaction between domestic and wild birds,
- keeping food and water sources away from migrating birds,
- and monitoring flocks for signs of illness or death.
Do you have sick or dead domestic poultry?
Veterinarians and backyard, hobby, and commercial producers should report any suspicious disease events in poultry flocks to the State Veterinarian’s using this form.
Updated guidance for poultry shows
The Colorado State Veterinarian’s office has issued updated guidance for poultry events, such as swaps, meets, and competitions. The guidance asks poultry owners to increase safety precautions and biosecurity practices, monitor their flocks for illness, and report any sick or dead birds to the State Veterinarian’s Office.
Wild bird mortalities
HPAI is actively circulating in wild birds across Colorado. Wild birds may be infected with avian influenza without showing symptoms. Learn more about HPAI and wild birds from Colorado Parks and Wildlife.
Coloradans are asked not to touch any dead birds they find on public lands and not to walk on ice to retrieve any carcasses. Do not handle any dead or dying birds.
Colorado Parks and Wildlife is aware of and tracking multiple wild bird mortalities. If you find three or more dead wild birds in a specific area within a two week period, you may notify your local CPW office.
For individual carcasses found on private property, if necessary, members of the public may wear a mask and gloves to pick up a carcass, immediately double bag it, and place the bags in municipal trash. Discard gloves and mask and wash your hands immediately afterwards.
There are many species of animals potentially susceptible to HPAI. In addition to birds and poultry, H5N1 viruses have been detected in some mammals. Infection may cause illness, including severe disease and death in some cases. The USDA is tracking mammalian detections on the national level.
In Colorado, CDA is coordinating the response to detections in wild animals with the Department of Natural Resources and Colorado Parks and Wildlife. You can see the Colorado detections in the map and spreadsheet below.
Although the risk is lower than it is to birds and cases are rare, domestic animals (e.g., cats or dogs) could become infected with avian flu if they go outside and eat or are exposed to sick or dead birds infected with avian flu viruses, or an environment contaminated with feces of infected birds.
People should avoid contact between their pets and wild birds or areas contaminated with avian flu virus. I
If you suspect your pet may have been exposed to HPAI, and is showing symptoms of illness, contact your veterinarian and monitor yourself for symptoms.
There have been rare cases of human infection with avian influenza. More information can be found at the CDC website.
Color coding legend for HPAI map
Click on each county for full details.