GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Highly pathogenic avian influenza has been found in a backyard flock from Cass County, the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development says.

It marks the first case in Michigan since March 2023, and the first case in Cass County since 2022, according to MDARD.

MDARD said the premises are under quarantine and the birds will be euthanized so the disease doesn’t spread. The flock contained about 60 birds of multiple species.

HPAI is very contagious and can be spread in many ways, including through wild birds, contact with infected poultry, equipment, and caretakers’ clothing and shoes, according to MDARD.

“While there have been fewer detections of HPAI in the United States and Michigan this year, the threat posed by this virus was never fully eliminated,” State Veterinarian Dr. Nora Wineland said in a Wednesday release. “The best strategy any bird owner has against this disease is prevention.”

MDARD recommended that bird owners prevent contact with wild birds by bringing domestic birds inside or enclosing their outdoor area, washing hands, disinfecting gear and not sharing equipment between farms.