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College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences


Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza

Download a transcript of this video (in process)


Did you know that your backyard flock of birds can get the flu?!

The flu is a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses. These viruses infect the nose, throat, and sometimes the lungs. Disease severity ranges from mild to severe illness and can cause death. And yes, birds can get the flu.

The 2022-2023 outbreak of Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) is ongoing, and there are still detections of disease in neighboring states. May is the peak time for migratory bird migration, so it is crucial that we all use our best biosecurity practices so we can maximize our chances of keeping our own birds healthy this year.

So -- just what IS biosecurity? What are the signs of HPAI? How can you help prevent it in your own flock? Whom do you contact if you have questions or suspect your birds are infected? Learn more from Tim in the video above, and then check out the resources below!

HPAI is a highly communicable disease, and it should be taken seriously. We have free fact sheets available on Ohioline to learn more about Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza and other diseases that can affect birds of all kinds:

There are also a number of Backyard Poultry videos available via OSU Extension in Franklin County.

There are many ways to keep your backyard flock safe from HPAI, and this short video provides some helpful tips. Check out An Update on Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza, produced by the Ohio Department of Agriculture, the Ohio Poultry Association, and Ohio State University Extension.

In this brochure, The Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine has compiled some facts about "bird flu," how to avoid it, some biosecurity measures you can use, and contact information for the Ohio Department of Agriulture, the United States Department of Agriculture, and the Ohio Poultry Association.

The Ohio Department of Agriculture also has a number of HPAI resources available online.

Because HPAI viruses can severely affect domestic animals and wildlife, even those who hunt should practice biosecurity measures and safe bird handling techniques. Learn more via the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service.

Several Extension and other experts in the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences are "in the know" about Highly Pathogenic Influenza, and can be available to answer your questions.

Tim McDermott, DVM, an assistant professor and educator with the Franklin County office of OSU Extension, has been presenting webinars about poultry disease along with our Ohio State 4-H youth development professionals.

Tim and others are also part of the Poultry Team at Ohio State, and you can learn more via their latest blog post on the topic at Understanding the current avian influenza outbreak and its impact.

There are several other Experts Available to Speak on Avian Flu, via our College of Veterinary Medicine.

If you suspect HPAI in your birds, start by connecting with the experts...
Backyard producers should contact the Ohio Department of Agriculture at or 614-728-6220.

Commercial producers should contact the Ohio Poultry Association at or 614-882-6111.