CONTACT:
NH Department of Agriculture, Markets, and Food: Steve Crawford 603-271-2404
NH Fish and Game Department: Daniel Bergeron 603-271-3421
February 11, 2022

Concord, NH –The New Hampshire Fish and Game Department and the New Hampshire Department of Agriculture, Markets and Food are announcing that Eurasian H5, a highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI), was recently detected in waterfowl in the state. Twenty (20) mallards collected through normal surveillance activities have tested positive in Rockingham County for this avian influenza. More test results are pending.

The US Centers for Disease Control (CDC) considers the risk of HPAI H5 infections to the public to be low. No human infections from Eurasian H5 viruses have occurred in the United States. If you have had contact with an ill bird and become ill yourself, contact your healthcare provider to determine if influenza testing is recommended.

Since January, several states have recently detected Eurasian A5. This type of HPAI is considered a low risk to humans, and sickness and mortality is typically low in wild birds, but it could be a potential danger to the poultry industry and other domestic birds. It is the first time since 2016 that the disease has been found in the United States in wild birds.

Through its ongoing wild bird surveillance program, the US Department of Agriculture (USDA APHIS) collects and tests large numbers of samples from wild birds in the North American flyways. It is not uncommon to detect avian influenza in wild birds, as these viruses circulate freely in those populations without the birds appearing sick. The recent detections of this strain of Eurasian H5 avian influenza in wild birds serve as an early warning system for bird owners in the US and New Hampshire to review and stay vigilant about their biosecurity practices to protect poultry and pet birds from avian influenza.

USDA APHIS Veterinary and Wildlife Services recommends that hunters and others who handle birds take precautions to protect themselves and the domestic birds they may encounter from the virus. Precautionary steps include wearing gloves while handling birds, not handling obviously sick or dead birds, washing tools and work surfaces with soap and water and then disinfecting them, and avoiding cross contamination between wild birds and domestic ones.

For more information about Eurasian H5 HPAI, contact USDA APHIS at 508-363-2290 or visit https://www.aphis.usda.gov/aphis/ourfocus/animalhealth/animal-disease-information/avian/avian-influenza/defend-the-flock-ai-wild-birds.

For information about Eurasian H5 and its impact on wild bird species in New Hampshire, contact the NH Fish and Game Department at 603-271-3421.

For information about Eurasian H5 impacting New Hampshire domestic bird species, contact the NH Department of Agriculture, Markets & Food, Division of Animal Industry, State Veterinarian, Steve Crawford, 603-271-2404 or stephen.k.crawford@agr.nh.gov.

About the NH Fish and Game Department
As the guardian of the state’s fish, wildlife, and marine resources, the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department works in partnership with the public: to conserve, manage and protect these resources and their habitats; inform and educate the public about these resources; and provide the public with opportunities to use and appreciate these resources. For more information visit www.wildnh.com.

About the NH Department of Agriculture, Markets & Food
The mission of the New Hampshire Department of Agriculture, Markets & Food is to support and promote agriculture and serve consumers and business for the benefit of the public health, environment and economy. For more information, visit agriculture.nh.gov.