Bird flu detected in backyard chicken flock in Kidder County

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — The bird flu has been confirmed in a non-commercial, backyard chicken flock in North Dakota, the state Agriculture Department announced Wednesday.

The agency said the poultry flock is in Kidder County. It’s the first confirmed cases in the state since 2015, Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring said.

Farms that raise turkeys and chickens for consumption have been on high alert and taking steps to increase biosecurity since avian influenza was recently discovered in a handful of states, including Minnesota

State animal health officials have quarantined the property. All birds in the flock will be destroyed and will not enter the food system, officials said.

Avian influenza is an airborne respiratory virus that spreads easily among chickens through nasal and eye secretions, as well as manure. The virus can spread from flock to flock by wild birds, through contact with infected poultry.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has said the recent bird flu detections do not present an immediate public health concern.