New Jersey officials confirmed the state's first case of Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza on Thursday, an outbreak in a backyard poultry flock in Monmouth County.
The highly contagious and often fatal disease is spreading around the country; the USDA says it's been found so far in 338 commercial and backyard flocks in 35 states, affecting nearly 38 million birds.
New Jersey authorities said the outbreak in a flock of ducks and chicken was confirmed Tuesday night. They are now quarantining the affected area and culling the birds in the flock.
While this version of the H5N1 avian influenza virus is a major risk for bird populations, it is less so for humans. Thus far there has only been one case in the United States, a worker in Colorado who was assisting with the cull of infected birds.