UACES Facebook Avian Influenza – What is it?

Avian Influenza – What is it?

Avian influenza, commonly known as “bird flu,” is an infectious disease of birds caused by type A Influenza viruses.

Hot Springs, Ark. – Avian influenza, commonly known as “bird flu,” is an infectious disease of birds caused by type A Influenza viruses. The disease is carried by many wild bird species including migratory waterfowl like ducks and geese, which show few if any clinical signs of the disease.  Influenza in birds is very contagious and can cause severe illness and death in domestic species such as chickens and turkeys. 

Symptoms

Avian Influenza has a variable incubation period in birds depending on the virus dose, poultry species infected, route of exposure, and several other factors.  The symptoms exhibited by an infected bird also vary and depend on the pathogenicity of the virus.  Some of the possible symptoms are: depression, diarrhea, dehydration, appetite loss, weight loss, huddling, a drop in egg production and respiratory symptoms such as cough, sneeze, and sinusitis. 

Lesions that could be observed include: a bloody nasal discharge, facial swelling, blue discoloration of the face, under-the-skin hemorrhaging, tracheal inflammation, nasal inflammation and hemorrhages on the shanks and in the proventriculus, which is part of the bird’s digestive system. There is no acceptable or practical treatment for poultry infected with high pathogenic avian influenza. 

Avian influenza viruses do not usually affect people; however, rare cases of human infection from certain strains of Avian Influenza viruses have been reported. 

If you have poultry on your farm that are sick and/or dying, see any unusual signs in your poultry or have questions concerning Avian Influenza, contact your local county agent, veterinarian, or livestock inspector, the University of Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service Poultry Veterinarian (479-957-4245) or the Arkansas State Veterinarians office (501-907-2400). 

For more information, contact Jimmy Driggers, County Extension Agent - Staff Chair, by calling 501-623-6841 or email at jdriggers@uaex.edu. 

 The Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service is an equal opportunity/equal access/affirmative action institution.   

4-H Information

There are several 4-H clubs for our Garland County youth who are 5 to 19 years old.  For more information on all the fun 4-H activities that are available for our youth, call Linda Bates at the Extension Office on 623-6841 or 922-4703 or email her at  lbates@uaex.edu

Master Gardener Information

Master Gardener meetings are held on the 3rd Thursday of each month at the Elks Lodge.  They’re open to the public and guests are welcome. For more information call the Extension Office at 623-6841 or 922-4703 or email Allen Bates at abates@uaex.edu

 EHC Information

Are you interested in joining an existing Extension Homemakers Club? EHC is the largest volunteer organization in the state. For information on EHC contact Jessica Vincent on 623-684 or 922-4703 or email her at jvincent@uaex.edu


The Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service is an equal opportunity/equal access/affirmative action institution. If you require a reasonable accommodation to participate or need materials in another format, please contact your County Extension office (or other appropriate office) as soon as possible. Dial 711 for Arkansas Relay.

The Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service offers its programs to all eligible persons regardless of race, color, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, national origin, religion, age, disability, marital or veteran status, genetic information, or any other legally protected status, and is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer.