Deer in Spring Landscape

Avian Influenza

Avian Influenza (AI) or Bird flu as it is commonly referred to in the media has recently been receiving a lot of media attention. AI is a viral disease that affects the respiratory and digestive systems of most species of domestic and wild birds.

AI is characterized into two basic forms: High Pathogenicity Avian Influenza (HPAI) – a rapidly fatal form of AI among birds, and Low Pathogenicity Avian Influenza (LPAI) - a mild, often undetected form of the disease that frequently occurs in wild bird populations.

The Asian HPAI H5N1 has not been found in Maryland or anywhere in the U.S. (not in people, poultry or wild birds). LPAI is routinely found in health and disease surveillance of wild birds in Maryland, North America and around the world. National studies for early detection of the Asian HPAI H5N1 in wild birds are under way across the nation.

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources (MD DNR) has been working closely with federal, state and local partners, including USDA, National Wildlife Health Center, USGS/ National Wildlife Refuges, National Parks Service, University of MD, Ohio State University, MDA, DHMH and local wildlife rehabilitators) to conduct active and targeted surveillance for AI in wild birds since June 2005 and will continue to expand monitoring efforts. Our collective efforts will combine with national and international efforts in monitoring wild bird populations to protect domestic animals and public health.

For additional information, click on links below:

What Hunters Should Know about Avian influenza

Avian Influenza & Wildlife - Questions and Answers

Are Hunting Dogs at Risk of Getting Bird Flu?

Avian Influenza: Be on the Lookout
US Fish & Wildlife Service
(Acrobat PDF Files - Open with Acrobat)

Summary Report of 2006 Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza Surveillance in the Atlantic Flyway
Atlantic Flyway Council Technical Committee
Prepared by: USDA/APHIS Wildlife Services Wildlife Disease Surveillance and Emergency Response Program