The Nebraska Department of Agriculture says the state has its 9th confirmed case this year and the first since April of highly pathogenic avian influenza, more commonly known as HPAI or simply bird flu, and it’s in Dawes County.

State veterinarian Dr. Roger Dudley said the case was in a small backyard herd that was humanely depopulated and disposed of in an approved manner.

Dr. Dudley says the state agricultural department is following USDA policy and establishing a 6.2-mile surveillance zone around the infected herd.

He encourages all poultry producers in the surveillance area to ensure they are aware of the signs and symptoms of avian influenza and to immediately report the status of any sick or dying birds.

These symptoms include: decreased water intake; lack of energy and appetite; decreased egg production or soft-shelled and deformed eggs, runny nose, coughing, sneezing; incoordination; and diarrhea.

The disease can also cause birds to die suddenly even if they show no other symptoms, and the virus can survive for weeks in contaminated environments.

Avian influenza is a highly contagious virus that spreads easily among birds through nasal and eye secretions, as well as manure.

It can move from flock to flock in a variety of ways, including through wild birds, which can carry the virus without becoming ill, and through contact with infected poultry or keepers’ equipment, clothing and footwear. who have been in contact with infected birds.