A fourth case of avian bird flu has been discovered in a Montana flock, this time in Glacier County.
The Montana Department of Livestock on Thursday said the domestic flock has had a significant number of deaths in recent days. Tests came back positive for highly pathogenic avian influenza, or HPIA, a virus that has spread quickly through 29 states and resulted in the deaths of more than 28 million domestic birds.
To control the illness, surviving birds are destroyed.
There have been no human infections reported and the Animal Plant Health Inspection Service considered the risk to humans minimal.
Montana’s fledgling egg industry has steadily increased over the years. Data source: U.S. Department of Agriculture National Agricultural Statistics Service.
The threat to commercial poultry is significant. Montana has a $38 million egg industry comprised mostly of laying operations at Hutterite colonies. There hasn’t yet been a reported incident at a laying facility.
APHIS warns that wild birds are most likely to spread the illness. Interaction between wild and domestic birds is a huge risk. Outdoor domestic birds congregating the