First cases of bird flu found in Arizona
The Arizona Game and Fish Department has confirmed cases of avian influenza, or bird flu. This strain of cases has killed 37 million birds across the U.S., but these are the first cases found in the Southwest.
Veterinarian Anne Justice-Allen says the cases were found in three baby birds found dead in Scottsdale.
“This detection of avian influenza was the first detection here in Arizona. And we have not detected it in any domestic birds, just these wild birds,” said Allen.
Allen says the disease hasn’t spread to any commercial operations in Arizona, but it has forced shutdowns of commercial farms and culling of poultry populations across the U.S.
Allen added that the risk of transmission to humans is low, but to wear gloves and facemasks, as well as wash your hands, if you come into contact with wild birds or domestic poultry.
“We do recommend that if people are picking up dead birds, or if their birds are sick, they should wear gloves when handling them, and protect themselves that way,” said Allen.
An incarcerated Colorado man taking part in a pre-release work program tested positive for bird flu earlier this year, but recovered using an antiviral drug after experiencing some days of fatigue.
Allen says the disease is often fatal for domestic birds, like backyard chickens and turkeys.