The Orange County Health Care Agency confirms that six birds have tested positive for the Avian Flu also known as the bird flu in Orange County.
These confirmed cases come about a week after LA County health officials reported eight cases of the flu in wild birds in LA County.
The California Department of Fish and Wildlife recommends that hunters take extra precaution to help limit the possibility of spread of infection to humans.
"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," said Dr. Regina Chinsio-Kwong, County Health Officer, and HCA’s Chief Medical Officer in a statement. "Bird flu is very contagious among birds and can sicken and even kill certain domesticated bird species including chickens, ducks and turkeys."
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The risk to the general public remains low but if cases continue to rise then there is a concern that the illness could spread to domestic poultry.
The virus is spread through direct bird-to-bird contact or indirectly when the virus is on clothing, vehicles, water, feathers, and other animals. Birds also shed the virus through bodily fluids like mucus, saliva, feces, and respiratory droplets.
Residents are advised to follow these preventive steps:
- 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 healthcare provider so that you can be evaluated.
- Bird Owners are advised to follow additional safety measures, prevent contact of their birds with wild birds, and immediately report any sick birds (view more information HERE).
- Report unusual occurrences of sick and dead wild birds to California Department of Fish and Wildlife Mortality Reporting, online at this link.
To report an unusual number of sick/dead commercial birds, please call California Department of Food and Agriculture 866-922-2473. Dead birds can also be reported online to westnile.ca.gov/report
The CDC is closely monitoring current Avian Flu cases and posting updates on their website.