NewsDesk @bactiman63

The City of Long Beach Department of Health and Human Services (Health Department) has confirmed three cases of Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza A H5 (avian flu) in two Canadian geese and one Black-crowned Night-Heron near El Dorado Park.

Additional sick and dead wild birds were also found in the area. The virus has previously been detected in birds in California, but the Long Beach cases are the first in Los Angeles County.

Avian flu is very contagious among birds and can sicken and even kill certain domesticated bird species, including chickens, ducks and turkeys. The current avian flu outbreak occurring in the United States began in February 2022 and has affected over 47 million wild birds and poultry.

While avian flu, also called bird flu, can rarely be transmitted to people or other animals after unprotected contact with infected birds or surfaces contaminated with the virus, the risk of transmission to the general public is very low. The spread of avian flu from person-to-person is also very rare. Domestic poultry, waterfowl, raptors and certain shorebirds are at highest risk of the virus.

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Long Beach City Health Officer Dr. Anissa Davis has advised that the public follow the guidance below to minimize the risk of avian flu transmission:

  • Avoid contact with wild birds, even if they don’t look sick.
  • Avoid surfaces that may be contaminated with saliva or feces from wild or domestic birds.
  • Keep dogs and other pets away from wild birds.
  • Do not handle sick or injured birds.
  • Report sick and injured wildlife, including birds, to Long Beach Animal Care Services (LBACS) either by phone 562.570.7387 or through the Go Long Beach app. LBACS can also dispose of deceased pet birds.
  • Bird owners should seek veterinary attention for their own animals if they seem sick.
  • People with backyard chickens, ducks or other poultry should remove water and food sources that feed wild birds (bird feeders, bird baths, etc.).
  • People with backyard flocks should keep poultry feed away from wild birds and rodents.
  • People who handle pet birds or backyard poultry should thoroughly wash their hands and clean and disinfect footwear before and after coming into contact with their birds.
  • If you have come in contact with a sick or deceased bird and develop flu-like symptoms within 10 days, isolate from others and contact your doctor.

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