Six birds in Orange County have tested positive for bird flu, the Orange County Health Care Agency announced.
The announcement comes a little over a week after bird flu was also reported at a Long Beach park, where two Canadian geese and one black-crowned night heron were confirmed to be infected.
The species of the infected Orange County birds was not disclosed, nor was the exact location of the birds prior to their testing positive.
“Avian flu is present in Orange County and while the risk of transmission to humans is low, residents should stay away from any dead birds.” says Dr. Regina Chinsio-Kwong, county health officer and HCA’s chief medical officer. “Bird flu is very contagious among birds and can sicken and even kill certain domesticated bird species including chickens, ducks and turkeys.”
Orange County officials offered several tips for staying safe and preventing the spread of bird flu, also known as Avian Influenza A (H5N1).
- Avoid contact with wild birds, even if they don’t look sick.
- Avoid surfaces that appear contaminated with saliva or feces from wild or domestic birds.
- Keep dogs and other pets away from wild birds.
- If you become ill after unprotected exposure to a sick or dead bird, contact your health care provider.
- Bird owners are advised to follow additional safety measures, prevent contact of their birds with wild birds and immediately report any sick birds to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.
The California Department of Fish and Wildlife advises hunters to take precautions so that the disease does not spread to humans, and the public should steer clear of any sick or dead birds they find.
“Unusual occurrences of sick and dead wild birds” should be reported to the CDFW here, the department said.
For sick or dead commercial birds, contact the California Department of Food and Agriculture at 866-922-2473 or westnile.ca.gov/report.
For information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, visit the agency’s web page on bird flu.