Bird flu outbreak discovered in Boulder County

The state veterinary office quarantined a large portion of Boulder County poultry after a bird flu outbreak, the second in the state in a month.

On Oct. 7, highly pathogenic avian Influenza was discovered in a backyard flock in Boulder County, according to a news release from Boulder County Public Health. Bird flu is a highly contagious disease that spreads commonly throughout birds and has a 90% death rate.

The quarantined area covers most of eastern Boulder County, stretching from just north of Niwot to the edge of Erie to Superior and the western edge of the city of Boulder.

The quarantine order in place says no birds or eggs may leave their location without a permit, state veterinarian Dr. Maggie Baldwin said in a news release. Poultry is not allowed to be brought into the restricted area without the state veterinarian’s consent. Everyone within the quarantine area must comply with an epidemiologic investigation, the news release said.

In September, the disease hit Weld County affecting 1.1 million birds at a poultry facility. On Sept. 21, Gov. Jared Polis declared a disaster emergency and activated the state emergency operations plan after the outbreak in Weld County. The declaration expires Oct. 20.

Colorado reported a human case of bird flu in the state in April, according to a news release from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. That man worked on a poultry farm.

The CDC considers the human risk for the general public low, but people with close and unprotected contact with infected birds may have a higher risk of getting the disease.

Earlier this year, the Denver Zoo shut down its outdoor bird exhibits and brought the animals inside in an effort to prevent the transmission of the highly contagious avian flu, which has been detected in Denver and other parts of Colorado.

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