Flock in Onslow County tests positive for avian flu

ONSLOW COUNTY, N.C. (WITN) – A backyard flock in Onslow County has tested positive for the avian flu.

The state Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services says it is the first confirmed positive in the county.

In late spring and early summer, the virus was found at nine poultry farms in Johnston and Wayne counties.

Recently, the avian flu was found in Wake County, Durham County, and Union County.

“We have had evidence that the HPAI virus has remained in our resident wild bird population and in migratory waterfowl, so reports of backyard positive flocks are unfortunate, but not surprising,” State Veterinarian Mike Martin said.

The flock will be killed to prevent the spread of the disease. Other flocks near the infected one will be contacted as part of the surveillance procedure.

The CDC says this type of avian flu is considered low risk to people, but is highly contagious to other birds, including commercial and backyard flocks of poultry.

“The threat of high path avian influenza is nationwide and likely will remain through the fall and winter,” Martin said. “Commercial operations and backyard flock owners should continue to follow strict biosecurity measures including keeping birds enclosed without access to wild birds or other domestic flocks when possible.”

If your birds are sick or dying, you are encouraged to report it immediately to your local veterinarian, the state Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services Veterinary Division at 919-707-3250, or the state Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory System at 919-733-3986.