Avian influenza confirmed in Vermont

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Published: Apr. 29, 2022 at 2:22 PM EDT
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MONTPELIER, Vt. (WCAX) - The USDA has confirmed the first case of avian influenza in Vermont.

Authorities say the highly contagious disease was reported in a non-commercial backyard flock of poultry in Caledonia County. Samples were then confirmed at federal labs. State officials quarantined the property.

The CDC has said the public health risk from the virus remains low, adding that people who have job-related or recreational exposures to infected birds are at a higher risk of infection and should take appropriate precautions.

As of Thursday, the CDC reported that H5N1 viruses have been found in commercial and backyard birds in 29 states and wild birds in 34 states. They have been tracking the health of more than 2,500 people exposed to infected birds and have so far found only found one case in Colorado.

This year’s outbreak is the worst one since 2015 when roughly 50 million chickens and turkeys were slaughtered because of the virus.

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