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Idaho Fish and Game respond to rising avian flu cases

IDFG said that birds that appear ill should be left alone and that local wildlife rehabilitation centers are not currently accepting wild birds.
Credit: IDFG

BOISE, Idaho —

Idaho Fish and Game (IDFG) said that it is aware of the numerous cases of Avian flu infecting birds across Idaho. IDFG said personnel cannot respond to every case of infected wild birds and that, in most instances, the disease has to run its course. 

"We are aware sick and dead birds are being seen by the public in many ponds, irrigation ditches, etc., especially in the Treasure Valley, and we do not know how long this avian influenza outbreak will last," said Fish and Game's Wildlife Health Program Coordinator Stacey Dauwalter. "Infected geese, ducks and other birds will continue to be found until the outbreak has abated." 

IDFG said that birds that appear ill should be left alone and local wildlife rehabilitation centers are not currently accepting wild birds. There is currently no treatment for avian flu and moving sick birds may spread the disease further, according to IDFG.

IDFG asks that people report any sick or dead wild bird observations HERE to assist surveillance efforts. 

According to the U.S. Center for Disease Control, bird flu viruses do not normally infect humans, however, sporadic human infections with the viruses have occurred. Symptoms may include conjunctivitis, fever, lethargy, aches, coughing, or diarrhea. 

IDFG said that domestic birds are very susceptible to the virus and often die once infected. The virus is transmitted between birds through close contact with mucous, fecal matter, and sometimes aerosol. 

The virus can also be carried on objects such as tools, vehicles, clothes, and boots, which can transport it from one location to another.

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