(CTN News) – Wild Birds; A total of nearly 400 wild geese have been found dead recently at Wiser Lake southwest of Lynden. Several of those have tested positive for avian flu, resulting in a warning from the Whatcom County Health Department.
A highly pathogenic strain of avian influenza is known as HPAI, according to the CDC.
There have been periodic HPAI infections in backyard poultry flocks in Western Washington, including Whatcom County, in the past year.
The virus is currently spreading in wild birds migrating through the area, such as Canada geese and snow geese, according to a statement from the Whatcom County Health Department.
Avian flu is highly contagious among birds, but it poses a low risk to humans.
“The current strain of bird flu does not appear to be easily transmissible to humans. It is recommended that individuals who have come into contact with infected birds contact the Whatcom County Health Department as a precaution.
Health officials have recommended that chicken, eggs, and other poultry and poultry products be handled properly and fully cooked before consumption.
Find a sick or dead wild bird or animal:
You should not handle any sick Wild Birds or wild animals and you should not take them to the veterinarian. Animals that are sick may spread the virus if they are moved.
Please use the online form to report sick/dead wild birds to the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife.
Pets should be kept away from dead or sick animals. Whenever you need to move a dead animal, wear disposable gloves, double-bag the animal, and push it deeply into the trash in order to keep scavengers away from it.
A bird hunter should follow standard safety precautions, including not disposing of carcasses in the field. The animal should be double-bagged and disposed of in the trash.
The following steps can be taken to protect domestic flocks from avian influenza:
You should keep an eye out for signs of illness in poultry, such as lack of energy and appetite, decreased egg production, diarrhea, and other signs of illness.
Contact the Washington State Department of Agriculture at 800-606-3056 if any domestic Wild Birds are sick or dead. A more detailed description of avian flu and backyard flocks can be found on the website of the Washington State Department of Agriculture.
Do not allow water to penetrate the roof of an area where domestic birds are kept.
If you have ponds or water features that may attract wild waterfowl, remove/drain them or dispose of them.