Bird flu reaches nearby county
A backyard, mixed-species poultry flock in neighboring Dickinson County is among the latest to report an outbreak of highly pathogenic avian influenza.
The disease previously was noted near Ottawa and more recently has been noted in rural Sedgwick County.
The H5N1 influenza can cause severe illness and sudden death in chickens. Although it happens only rarely, it can jump to humans, causing severe respiratory distress and one of the highest lethality rates for all forms of influenza. However, no human cases have been reported in the United States.
In chickens, symptoms include coughing, sneezing, nasal discharge, and other signs of respiratory distress; lack of energy and appetite; decreased water consumption; decreased egg production or soft-shelled, misshapen eggs; lack of coordination; and diarrhea.