Highly pathogenic avian influenza, or bird flu, has been detected in Saginaw County.
State health officials discovered the virus in a non-commercial flock of poultry with about 35 birds of varying species. The site is under quarantine and the birds will be culled to prevent the spread of the virus.
The bird flu has been making it way through Michigan, detected in six counties including Saginaw, Washtenaw, Menominee, Macomb, Livingston and Kalamazoo. The virus can spread a number of ways, including by wild birds, through contact with infected poultry, by equipment, and on the clothing and shoes of caretakers, according to the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD). Steps can be taken to prevent the spread of the bird flu in commercial and backyard flocks: bring birds indoors or ensure their area is fully enclosed to prevent contact with wild birds, wash hands, disinfect boots and other gear when moving between coops, use well or municipal water for drinking water and keep poultry feed secure from wild birds or rodents.
Avian influenza does not pose an immediate public concern. There have been no human cases detected in the US at this time. Anyone who suspects one of their birds has avian influenza should immediately call MDARD at 1-800-292-3939.