Author: Robert

Bird flu cases in California wildfowl

Bird flu cases in California wildfowl

First bird flu cases in wildfowl reported in Los Angeles County this year

As winter is coming to Southern California, the birds are out and about.

So wildlife managers are keeping an extra watchful eye on wildfowl this fall in California, especially in the Los Angeles County-area.

So far this year, 10 cases of bird flu have been reported in wildfowl in the L.A. County area. The first bird flu cases in wildfowl were reported this week, when a California gull was infected with H5N1 avian flu in the Santa Monica area, according to Los Angeles County officials.

“Wildlife managers have been very diligent in implementing recommendations and protocols for H5 prevention in the area of the Santa Monica Bay,” said Dave Henson, a Fish and Wildlife Department spokesman, in a statement. “They have also been closely consulting with veterinarians to determine which birds pose the greatest threat to public health and safety.”

In addition, the Santa Monica beach was closed for several days in mid-June, and the Los Angeles County Zoo closed until September to keep the public out of wildfowl and poultry, according to a Zoo spokesman.

Bird flu, also called avian influenza, is a highly contagious infection that affects birds, domestic poultry and poultry that scavenge for food. It is not transmitted to humans. Avian influenza is caused by viruses and can cause inflammation of the respiratory tract, severe diarrhea, vomiting, and death.

“Avian influenza is not like the ordinary flu,” said Dr. Mark Colarossi, chief public health physician for the Santa Monica-Upland-San Gabriel region, who conducted laboratory tests on birds that tested positive for bird flu — mainly gulls, crows and pigeons — and on wildfowl at the airport in Santa Monica, according to a statement. “It’s a very contagious disease, and we should not be surprised by this.”

Bird flu cases in 2012 and 2013

Los Angeles County had three reported cases of bird flu this year. They all occurred in wildfowl in 2012 and 2013, according to a Fish and Wildlife spokeswoman.

Avian influenza cases in wildfowl at the Santa Monica-Upland-San

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