At least three cases of avian flu have been confirmed near El Dorado Park in Long Beach, marking the first cases detected in Los Angeles County, according to the Long Beach Department of Health and Human Services.
The cases involved two Canadian geese and one black-crowned night heron, though “additional sick and dead wild birds were also found in the area,” the Health Department said in a news release.
“Avian flu is very contagious among birds and can sicken and even kill certain domesticated bird species, including chickens, ducks and turkeys,” the release added. “The current avian flu outbreak occurring in the United States began in February 2022 and has affected over 47 million wild birds and poultry.”
Bird flu can “rarely be transmitted to people or other animals after unprotected contact with infected birds or surfaces contaminated with the virus,” officials said.
Though the risk to the public remains “very low,” City Health Officer Dr. Anissa Davis offered several tips for staying safe.
- Avoid contact with wild birds, even if they don’t look sick, and do not handle sick or injured birds.
- Keep dogs and other pets away from wild birds.
- Report sick and injured wildlife, including birds, to Long Beach Animal Care Services at 562-570-7387. LBACS can also dispose of deceased pet birds.
- Avoid surfaces that could be contaminated with saliva or feces from wild or domesticated birds.
- If a domesticated bird is sick, owners should seek veterinary attention.
- Those with backyard chickens, ducks or other poultry should wash hands and clean and disinfect footwear before and after coming into contact with their birds. Poultry feed should also be kept away from wild birds and rodents, and water and food sources should be remove so that they cannot be accessed by wild birds.
- If you do come into contact with a sick or dead bird and develop flu-like symptoms, isolate from others and contact your doctor.
For information about bird flu, visit longbeach.gov/hpai.
At the park, the city officials said they are working to rehome nonnative birds in a “safe and humane” manner, though birds “suspected of carrying the virus may be euthanized to protect the overall bird population.”