(Santa Ana, CA) – The OC Health Care Agency (HCA) has received confirmation that six birds have tested positive for Avian Influenza A (H5N1), also known as Bird Flu, in Orange County. The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) recommends that hunters take precaution to limit the possibility of spread of infection to humans, and that the public stay clear of any sick or dead birds they may find.
“Avian flu is present in Orange County and while the risk of transmission to humans is low, residents should stay away from any dead birds.” says Dr. Regina Chinsio-Kwong, County Health Officer, and HCA’s Chief Medical Officer. “Bird flu is very contagious among birds and can sicken and even kill certain domesticated bird species including chickens, ducks and turkeys.”
Residents are advised to follow these preventive steps:
- Avoid contact with wild birds, even if they don’t look sick.
- Avoid surfaces that appear contaminated with saliva or feces from wild or domestic birds.
- Keep dogs and other pets away from wild birds.
- If you become ill after unprotected exposure to a sick or dead bird contact your healthcare provider so that you can be evaluated.
- Bird Owners are advised to follow additional safety measures, prevent contact of their birds with wild birds, and immediately report any sick birds (view more information HERE).
- Report unusual occurrences of sick and dead wild birds to California Department of Fish and Wildlife Mortality Reporting, online at https://wildlife.ca.gov/Conservation/Laboratories/Wildlife-Health/Monitoring/Mortality-Report.
To report an unusual number of sick/dead commercial birds, please call California Department of Food and Agriculture 866-922-2473. Dead birds can also be reported online to westnile.ca.gov/report.
The CDC is closely monitoring current Avian Flu cases and posting updates on their website: Bird Flu Current Situation Summary | Avian Influenza (Flu) (cdc.gov). For more information on the Avian Flu in Orange County visit HCA’s website HERE.