June 16, 2024

To Avoid Bird Flu, Stay Away From Dead Birds and Wild Animals

To avoid bird flu, stay away from dead birds and wild animals, according to the Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department. An outbreak of avian influenza is killing birds on Rat Island in Washington state, which is a wildlife preserve, and nearby shores. That island has been closed because of this outbreak.

To Avoid Bird Flu, Stay Away From Dead Birds and Wild Animals

While it is rare for people to contract this infection, it can happen. People are more likely to get sick after close or lengthy contact with infected animals or by touching contaminated surfaces. Dogs and other animals can also get sick from the bird flu.

Bird flu is a Type A flu virus that occurs naturally in wild aquatic birds. Since January 2022, a strain of H5N1 avian influenza has been sickening and killing birds around the world. No treatment is available for wild species. Most birds who contract this infection will die.

To protect yourself and to reduce the risk of spreading the bird flu to your pets, other wild birds and animals, and backyard poultry, do not touch or try to rehabilitate sick birds or wildlife. Do not touch dead birds.

Keep your pets on leashes so they can’t scavenge or touch sick or dead wildlife. Be very careful around beaches and other areas where large numbers of waterfowl gather.

Wash your hands often, especially after being outdoors and before eating and preparing food.

If you do have backyard poultry, watch them closely for signs of illness or sudden death. If your birds do get sick or die, report it to the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife.

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