Avian Influenza Reported in Backyard Flock in Gallatin County

Gallatin County Emergency Management

Gallatin County officials were notified that avian influenza A (H5N1) was detected in a flock of domestic poultry located in rural Gallatin County.

The site was identified late last week near Manhattan/Belgrade. The Montana Department of Livestock (MDOL) has identified a “Surveillance Zone” of ten kilometers around this location, and an investigation is ongoing. This Surveillance Zone includes all of Manhattan and parts of northwest Belgrade.

If you are in the Surveillance Zone, and you have registered your outdoor birds with the Town of Manhattan or the City of Belgrade, you will be contacted by MDOL.

We know that the avian flu is on the landscape. MDOL is advising bird owners to report any birds that appear sick or die regardless of whether they are in the Surveillance Zone. Avoid contact with surfaces that appear to be contaminated with feces from wild birds or domestic birds. Poultry will likely appear sick when they are infected. People should avoid contact with poultry and wild birds that appear ill or dead.

If you must handle sick or dead poultry, wear gloves, protective eyewear, and wash your hands with soap and water afterwards. It is recommended to wear an N95 level respirator if you must handle dead or sick birds. It is safe to eat properly handled and cooked poultry and poultry products. The proper handling and cooking of poultry and eggs to an internal temperature of 165 degrees F kills bacteria and viruses, including H5N1.

If you own outdoor birds, be sure to monitor closely for signs of illness. Report any sudden onset of illness or death of birds to the following:

  • Report dead or sick domestic birds:
    • Your local veterinarian
    • Montana Department of Livestock – 406-444-2976
  • Report dead or sick wild birds:
    • Local Fish, Wildlife, and Parks Warden or Regional Office
    • Gallatin County FWP Office – 406-585-9010
    • State FWP Wildlife Veterinarian – 406-577-7880

There are additional resources, links, and FAQs on our website: healthygallatin.org/community-health/avian-influenza Visit FAQ Page

The Montana Department of Livestock is conducting the investigation. If you have any questions, please contact them at 406-444-2976.

Other specific questions regarding signs of illness in people exposed to birds infected with avian flu, please contact the Gallatin City-County Health Department at 406-582-3100. CDC also has guidance for specific groups of people with exposure to poultry and guidance and tips for keeping healthy backyard poultry.