Avian Influenza

Avian influenza (AI) is an infectious viral disease of birds (especially wild water fowl such as ducks and geese), often causing no apparent signs of illness. AI viruses can sometimes spread to domestic poultry and cause large-scale outbreaks of serious disease. Some of these AI viruses have also been reported to cross the species barrier and cause disease or subclinical infections in humans and other mammals.

AI viruses are divided into 2 groups based on their ability to cause disease in poultry: high pathogenicity (HPAI) or low pathogenicity (LPAI). HPAI results in high death rates (up to 100% mortality within 48 hours) in some poultry species. LPAI also causes outbreaks in poultry but is not generally associated with severe disease.

To report sick birds or unusual bird deaths:

  • Sick birds or birds that have died from unknown causes?
    • Call the colorado Avian Health Call Line at Colorado State University (CSU): (970) 297-4008
  • Dead Birds:
    • Submit to the CSU Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory in Ft. Collins for free HPAI testing: (970) 297-4008 or (970) 297-1281        http://dlab.colostate.edu
  • Multiple sick birds or multiple unusual bird deaths?
    • Call either the Colorado State Veterinarian's Office (303) 869-9130, or the USDA Colorado Office (website)
  • The current outbreak of HPAI in the United States began in December, 2014 and is ongoing.  As of May 12, 2015 there are no cases of HPAI in Colorado, but the USDA has confirmed HPAI in poultry flocks and/or wild birds in eighteen other states.


USPOULTRY - USDA Enhanced Biosecurity for Poultry Producers


AVMA - Avian Influenza FAQ

CDC - Information on Influenza: http://www.cdc.gov/flu/avianflu/h5/index.htm 

OIE Avian Influenza Web Portal - http://www.oie.int/en/animal-health-in-the-world/web-portal-on-avian-influenza/offlu/

Press Release Links

Press Release 5-12-2015