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First cases of bird flu detected in Long Beach

Long Beach, California – According to the Long Beach Department of Health and Human Services, there have been at least three confirmed cases of bird flu in the area around El Dorado Park in Long Beach. These are the first instances of the virus to be detected in Los Angeles County.

The instances were two Canadian geese and one black-crowned night heron, but the Health Department said in a press release that “additional sick and dead wild birds were also found in the area.”

“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,” the release stated.

Officials say that the rate of transmission of bird flu is low. It can only spread to people or animals if they come into unprotected contact with infected birds or surfaces contaminated with the virus.

Even though the transmission of the virus is very low, health officials are providing safety recommendations:

  • Avoid contact with wild birds, even if they don’t look sick, and do not handle sick or injured birds.
  • Keep dogs and other pets away from wild birds.
  • Report sick and injured wildlife, including birds, to Long Beach Animal Care Services at 562-570-7387. LBACS can also dispose of deceased pet birds.
  • Avoid surfaces that could be contaminated with saliva or feces from wild or domesticated birds.
  • If a domesticated bird is sick, owners should seek veterinary attention.
  • Those with backyard chickens, ducks or other poultry should wash hands and clean and disinfect footwear before and after coming into contact with their birds. Poultry feed should also be kept away from wild birds and rodents, and water and food sources should be remove so that they cannot be accessed by wild birds.
  • If you do come into contact with a sick or dead bird and develop flu-like symptoms, isolate from others and contact your doctor.

For more information about bird flu, visit longbeach.gov/hpai.

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