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Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI): Information


Highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) is a serious poultry disease that spreads very quickly. With this threat, it’s more important than ever for you to keep strict biosecurity measures at your poultry operations and watch your birds closely for any signs of the disease. We need you to quickly report problems in your flocks and work with us to respond. Your help will be vital in protecting the U.S. poultry industry from this deadly disease. The faster we can respond and depopulate sick birds, the faster we can stop the virus from spreading.


  • Sudden increase in bird deaths without any clinical signs
  • Lack of energy and appetite
  • Decrease in egg production
  • Soft- or thin-shelled or misshapen eggs
  • Swelling of the head, eyelids, comb, wattles, and hocks
  • Purple discoloration of the wattles, comb, and legs
  • Gasping for air (difficulty breathing)
  • Coughing, sneezing, and/or nasal discharge (runny nose)
  • Stumbling or falling down
  • Diarrhea


If your birds are sick or dying, report it right away. This is one of the most important things you can do to keep HPAI from spreading. Call:


Biosecurity refers to everything people do to keep diseases – and the viruses, bacteria, funguses, parasites, and other microorganisms that cause disease – away from birds, property, and people. It includes:

  • Structural biosecurity: measures used in the physical construction and maintenance of coops, pens, poultry houses, family farms, commercial farms, and other facilities.
  • Operational biosecurity: practices, procedures, policies that are consistently followed by people.


Biosecurity is a team effort. Everyone involved in raising poultry must use structural and operational biosecurity to prepare for and prevent disease outbreaks through out the United States. Put simply: we have to work together to protect our flocks.
What can you do? You can practice biosecurity each and every day. By practicing good biosecurity, you can reduce the risk of people, animals, equipment, or vehicles carrying infectious diseases onto your property – either accidentally or on purpose. You will also help protect other flocks by preventing the spread of disease.


  • Keep visitors to a minimum. Only allow those people who take care of your poultry to come in contact with your birds, this includes family and friends.
  • Wash your hands before and after coming in contact with live poultry.
    Wash with soap and water (always your first choice). If using a hand sanitizer, first remove manure, feathers, and other materials from your hands because disinfectants will not penetrate organic matter or caked-on dirt.
  • Provide disposable boot covers (preferred) and/or disinfectant footbaths
    for anyone having contact with your flock. If using a footbath, be sure to remove all droppings, mud or debris from boots and shoes using a long-handled scrub brush BEFORE stepping into the disinfectant footbath, and always keep it clean.
  • Change clothes before entering poultry areas and before exiting the property.
  • Avoid attracting wild birds and waterfowl to your home. Cover and enclose outdoor feeding areas. Keep feed contained, feed in the coop. Reduce puddles and standing water. Avoid visiting ponds and streams, especially with pets.
  • Halt travel with your birds to sales, shows and swaps. Colorado State has an emergency order issued that from April 1st for 90 days, canceling all poultry shows, swaps or gatherings of birds from different premise.

HPAI is a deadly disease for poultry.
It can infect all types of chickens and turkeys, plus many other kinds of birds.
HPAI can strike suddenly and spread fast.
It is devastating for poultry industries.