CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) – The Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources (MDAR) is warning “highly pathogenic avian influenza” (HPAI) has been identified in multiple locations in Massachusetts that could spread rapidly and the poultry industry could be at risk if it’s not contained.

The MDAR first alerted the HPAI was detected in wild birds in Massachusetts Wednesday. They provided an update Thursday stating the bird flu appears to be generally present in the Massachusetts wild bird population. Those include waterbirds, shore birds, water fowl, and ducks like Mallards are most likely to carry the virus.

It is advised to keep wild birds away from domestic flocks. Flock owners or visitors may accidentally expose their flocks to HPAI through contaminated shoes, clothing, or equipment.

Affected states include Massachusetts, Connecticut, Maine, New Hampshire, New York, Kentucky, Indiana, and Michigan. Nearly 29,000 turkeys were killed to prevent the virus from spreading in a group of commercial turkeys in Indiana.

If the virus spreads widely and starts to impact more commercial poultry farms, the price of eggs, chicken, and turkey would likely be affected. That would be bad news for consumers already facing inflated food prices. The Bureau of Labor Statistics found food prices were up 7% in January 2022 compared to one year prior.

There have been no human reported cases infected with the HPAI virus in the U.S. To report sick or dead birds contact the following numbers, domestic 617-626-1795; wild 508-389-6300.