Archived Outdoors

Wild ducks test positive for avian flu

After a wild duck shot in Hyde County Dec. 30 tested positive for highly pathogenic avian influenza, or HPAI, agencies are reminding poultry growers to increase their biosecurity measures and hunters to follow best practices when handling waterfowl after harvest. 

Positive tests in wild waterfowl are not unexpected, as they can be infected with HPAI and show no signs of illness, carrying the disease to new areas through fecal matter or oral discharges when migrating. While this type of HPAI virus is low risk for people, it can be dangerous to other birds. A second wild duck tested positive for the virus in Colleton County, South Carolina, after Jan. 14. 

“These three positive samples tell us that high path avian influenza is currently present in the American Atlantic migratory flyway,” said Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler. 

Report mortality events involving five or more waterbirds or waterfowl, or mortality events of any size involving raptors and avian scavengers, as well as sightings of those same bird species displaying neurological impairment, to the N.C. Wildlife Helpline at 866.318.2401 during business hours, or by email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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