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Avian flu cases confirmed in poultry flock in Flathead County

State livestock officials announced this week they have confirmed cases of the avian flu in Flathead County. The highly contagious virus was found in a backyard poultry flock.

The Montana Department of Livestock confirmed the Flathead area flock of chickens has highly pathogenic avian influenza. This is the tenth flock in Montana with a confirmed case. Nationally, nearly 400 flocks have come down with the avian flu. The cases have been traced to seasonal migrations of wild birds.

The state Livestock Department encourages all poultry producers to report suspected cases of bird flu immediately. Symptoms include swollen eyes, discolored comb and legs as well as a significant drop in egg production.

Federal health officials consider the risk of avian flu to people to be low and remind those cooking chicken to temp their meat to 165 degrees.

Aaron graduated from the University of Minnesota School of Journalism in 2015 after interning at Minnesota Public Radio. He landed his first reporting gig in Wrangell, Alaska where he enjoyed the remote Alaskan lifestyle and eventually moved back to the road system as the KBBI News Director in Homer, Alaska. He joined the MTPR team in 2019. Aaron now reports on all things in northwest Montana and statewide health care.
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