Wild goose found near Holmes Lake in Lincoln with infectious avian influenza

By: - March 7, 2022 6:06 pm

Geese and other migratory birds often are the culprits for spreading dangerous avian influenza. (Daniel Berehulak/Getty Images)

A highly infectious bird flu now has been confirmed in a wild goose in Lincoln, near Holmes Lake.

It is Nebraska’s first confirmed case of the avian influenza since 2015, the Nebraska Department of Agriculture reported Monday. 

While Nebraska has not seen HPAI (Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza) in a backyard or commercial poultry flock within the state this year, the finding of that single goose adds Nebraska to a long list of states with confirmed cases, said State Veterinarian Roger Dudley.

“Infected wild birds can carry the disease to new areas when migrating, so we encourage backyard poultry and commercial poultry flocks to continue to remain vigilant, practice good biosecurity and report sick or dying birds immediately,” Dudley said.

The Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium closed its aviary indefinitely last week following the discovery of an infected bird in a backyard flock in Pottawattamie County. The zoo locked its other birds indoors.

Monday’s report was done in conjunction with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Wildlife Services and Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service. 

In Iowa, 50,000 turkeys in Buena Vista County, Iowa, was destroyed after the disease was confirmed Sunday in the commercial flock, the Iowa Capital Dispatch reported.

Symptoms in poultry are said to include: a decrease in water consumption; lack of energy and appetite; decreased egg production or soft-shelled, misshapen eggs; nasal discharge, coughing, sneezing; incoordination; and diarrhea. HPAI can cause sudden death in birds even if they aren’t showing other symptoms. HPAI can survive for weeks in contaminated environments.

The risk to people of getting infected from birds is low, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports. No human cases of avian influenza viruses have been detected in the U.S.

Poultry owners are asked to report unusual bird deaths or sick birds to the state’s Agriculture Department at 402-471-2351.


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Cindy Gonzalez
Cindy Gonzalez

Senior Reporter Cindy Gonzalez, an Omaha native, has more than 35 years of experience, largely at the Omaha World-Herald. Her coverage areas have included business and real estate development; regional reporting; immigration, demographics and diverse communities; and City Hall and local politics.

Nebraska Examiner is part of States Newsroom, the nation’s largest state-focused nonprofit news organization.