Avian flu found in Northampton County; 1st confirmed case in weeks in Pa.

Written by on August 12, 2022

Avian flu found in Northampton County; 1st confirmed case in weeks in Pa.

By Megan Frank
August 12, 2022

UPPER MOUNT BETHEL TWP., Pa. – Avian flu has been found in Northampton County.

The state Department of Agriculture confirmed Friday that a duck and chickens in Upper Mount Bethel Township are infected. The animals were tested after a dead turkey vulture was found on the property.

In a statement, the agency said this is the state’s first case of avian flu found in backyard birds that are not commercially sold. The farm has been quarantined and a control area has been set up around it. 

The department said poultry and eggs still are safe to eat and human health is not at-risk.

Bethlehem, the largest city in the county, is considering whether to allow residents to keep chickens in their back yards. Efforts to reach city council representatives were unsuccessful.

The agriculture department reported that Northampton County annually sees $140 million in sales of poultry and eggs.

“Backyard bird owners should recognize that this disease is deadly to their birds,” Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding said in a prepared statement. “Protecting their birds helps protect neighboring poultry farms and the families and jobs that depend on those businesses.”

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