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Barwon Health / Barwon South West Public Health Unit

(03) 4215 4000

Avian Influenza 2024

Wednesday, 19 June 2024

The Barwon South West Public Health Unit (BSWPHU) is currently supporting Agriculture Victoria, the Department of Health and poultry workers after the recent detection of avian influenza at a number of poultry farms in the Barwon South West region. chickens

Agriculture Victoria is leading the response (Avian influenza | Poultry diseases | Animal diseases | Biosecurity | Agriculture Victoria) and these properties have been placed in quarantine and all poultry has or will be safely disposed of. The sites will be cleaned and cleared of the infection.

Agriculture Victoria has also implemented movement and housing controls around the infected premises.

Agriculture Victoria staff are on-the-ground to support businesses and are working closely with industry to contain and eradicate the virus. Contact tracing is also underway to determine the source and spread of the infection.

Avian influenza is a viral disease of birds found globally. Virus strains are described as low pathogenicity (LPAI) or high pathogenicity (HPAI) based on the potential disease severity in poultry. The laboratory tests have identified the HPAI H7N3 and H7N9 virus strains as being responsible for the current outbreaks in these poultry farms.

The BSWPHU is supporting all affected poultry workers with monitoring and advice on preventing infection. While cases among humans in direct contact with animals infected with HPAI viruses are possible, the risk to these workers and the public remains low.

Poultry farmers, backyard flock and bird owners are urged to report any cases of unexplained bird deaths to the VicEmergency Hotline on 1800 226 226.

Find out more about avian influenza in humans from the BetterHealth Channel here:

Additional resources: