Avian Flu – WEST AG INFORMATION NETWORK
Avian flu infects birds all over the country. Unfortunately, the disease will have to run its course in most cases, and Fish and Game staff cannot respond to all cases of infected wild birds.
“We are aware that the public is seeing sick and dead birds in many ponds, irrigation ditches, etc., especially in the Treasury Valley, and we don’t know how long this bird flu outbreak will last.” , said Fish and Game’s Wildlife. Health Program Coordinator Stacey Dauwalter. “Infected geese, ducks and other birds will continue to be found until the outbreak has subsided.”
Live birds that appear sick should be left alone. Local wildlife rehabilitation centers do not currently accept wild birds. There is no cure or vaccine for bird flu and moving sick birds can spread it further.
Dead birds can be double bagged and placed in a trash can as long as people wear gloves and a mask. People should also make sure to wash their hands after handling birds.
Please report sightings of sick or dead wild birds online to assist with avian influenza surveillance efforts.
According to the US Center for Disease Control, bird flu viruses do not normally infect humans, however, sporadic human infections with bird flu viruses have occurred. Symptoms may include conjunctivitis, fever, lethargy, body aches, cough or diarrhea.
Avian influenza is carried by waterfowl (geese and ducks) along their migratory routes. In Idaho, this path is known as the Pacific Flyway.
Domestic birds and poultry are very likely to show symptoms and die when infected. Influenza is transmitted between birds through close (mucosal) contact, feces, and sometimes as an aerosol. It is also carried on objects such as tools, vehicles, clothing and boots, which can transfer the virus from one place to another. Please contact the Idaho State Department of Agriculture (ISDA) if you have any concerns regarding commercial or backyard poultry.