First Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza detection confirmed in Nevada

The NDA encourages bird owners to practice bird health safety measures


Ciara Ressel
Public Information Officer
Sparks, Nev. - July 08, 2022

The USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) National Veterinary Services Laboratories, in coordination with the Nevada Department of Agriculture (NDA), have confirmed the first case of Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) in a backyard (non-commercial) flock of domestic birds in Carson City, Nev. The affected premises has been quarantined and birds on the property will be depopulated to prevent the spread of the disease in accordance with USDA guidelines.

HPAI has been detected in states throughout the U.S. To protect bird health, the NDA issued biosecurity recommendations in April of 2022 as detections were made in bordering states. This first detection is a reminder to owners of domestic birds to practice bird health safety measures and report illnesses. To mitigate impacts of the disease, it is important that bird owners quarantine and report any sick birds to the USDA at (866) 536-7593 or the NDA state veterinarian Dr. Amy Mitchell at

“This detection further emphasizes the importance of domestic bird owners to develop and maintain plans to protect the health of their flock and prevent the transmission and further spread of disease,” said Dr. Mitchell.

Avian influenza viruses can infect domestic birds (such as chickens, turkeys, pheasants, quail, domestic ducks, geese, and guinea fowl) and wild birds. HPAI is extremely infectious and can spread rapidly. HPAI strains can circulate freely in wild birds without sign of illness but can infect domestic birds causing severe and fatal illness. Some species of wild birds, such as raptors, also experience high mortality rates. Proper bird health safety measures are outlined on the NDA website and include:


  • Wash hands before and after coming in contact with birds.
  • Limit the number of people that come into contact with your flock to those necessary for their care. 
  • Use personal protective equipment such as shoe covers, gloves, hair and clothing covers. 
  • Clean and disinfect equipment before and after each use.
  • Do not share tools or supplies between flocks.
  • Flocks should be housed in enclosures that prevent any exposure to wild birds or waterfowl, such as barns or similar covered, secure areas.
  • Avoid attracting wild birds and waterfowl by securing feed and not using wild bird feeders on or near the premises.
  • Quarantine sick birds immediately and report to the USDA (866) 536-7593 or NDA state veterinarian Dr. Amy Mitchell at
  • Three or more wild bird mortalities should be reported to the Nevada Department of Wildlife at (775) 688-1500 or


Infected birds will not enter the food system and according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the public health risk associated with these avian influenza detections in birds remains low.  As a reminder, the proper handling and cooking of all poultry and eggs to an internal temperature of 165 ˚F is recommended as a general food safety precaution.  

For more information on avian influenza, safety measures and the NDA's recommendation regarding bird shows, events and fairs, visit


About the Nevada Department of Agriculture

The Nevada Department of Agriculture (NDA) mission is to preserve, protect and promote Nevada’s agriculture. The department has 225 dedicated employees providing services in its five divisions, Administrative Services, Animal Industry, Measurement Standards, Food and Nutrition, and Plant Health and Compliance. The department’s $288 million budget facilitates regulatory and administrative work in agriculture and food manufacturing industries, protecting public and environmental health and worker safety, and providing food distribution and oversight for the United States Department of Agriculture’s school and community nutrition programs.