A highly pathogenic avian influenza has been detected in two more flocks of backyard birds in Maine, one in York County and the other in Lincoln County.

State officials confirmed the latest cases of avian flu within the past week and announced the findings Thursday along with an advisory that owners of commercial and backyard flocks should watch for signs of the disease and keep their flocks indoors.

The two affected flocks included a total of about 250 birds, described only as non-poultry. State officials quarantined the properties and the backyard flocks were eliminated to prevent the spread of the virus, according to the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry.

The disease is not seen as a threat to people – no human cases have been detected in the United States – but is lethal to birds and can spread from wild birds to commercial and backyard flocks.

Avian flu has spread around the country and was first detected in Maine in February, when two backyard flocks in Knox County tested positive.

Bird owners should prevent contact between their birds and wild birds and report sick birds or unusual bird deaths to the state veterinarian or through USDA’s toll-free number at 1-866-536-7593.

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