Avian Flu

Avian Influenza Update for Alameda County (11/9/2022)

Avian influenza Type A, H5N1, or bird flu, is a type of novel influenza virus. It refers to the disease found in birds that is caused by infection with avian (bird) influenza (flu) Type A viruses. Avian influenza viruses are categorized as low pathogenic avian influenza (LPAI) and highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI), based on disease severity in poultry. HPAI has the potential to cause severe disease and mortality in poultry.

Avian influenza viruses naturally spread among wild aquatic birds worldwide, with the potential to infect domestic poultry and other bird and animal species. Infected birds spread the virus through mucus, saliva, and feces. The risk to humans is low and people rarely get sick. However, sporadic human infections have been identified.

As of 11/9/2022, there has been 1 human case of avian influenza identified in the US. In Alameda County, 3 dead birds have tested positive for avian influenza. Alameda County is actively monitoring the situation.

How to protect yourself

  • Do not handle wild birds that are sick or found dead
  • Practice good biosecurity for backyard flocks
    • Keep visitors to a minimum
    • Do not share equipment between flocks
    • Disinfect equipment and tools
    • Avoid contact between non-domestic or wild birds and backyard flock
  • Wash your hands before and after coming into contact with poultry
  • Do not kiss or snuggle your pet poultry
  • Keep household pets away from wild birds and their droppings
  • Wear appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE)

*Note: the seasonal flu vaccine does not protect against avian influenza

If you are exposed to sick/dead birds

  • If exposed to saliva, mucus, or feces from sick birds or handled any carcasses of dead birds without the use of PPE and have developed illness, seek medical attention
  • Advise your clinician about exposures to sick/dead birds to facilitate reporting to public health and expedite testing
    • Testing is recommended within the first 7 days of illness onset
  • Isolate
  • Treatment is available, but must be started soon after illness onset

If you find a sick or dead bird

  • To report an unusual number of sick/dead birds, call the State Bird Hotline: 866-922-BIRD (2473)
  • If a dead bird is found, contact Alameda County Vector Control at 510-567-6800.The City of Berkeley has its own Vector Control services: 510-981-5310
  • For orphaned or injured live wild birds, contact your local wildlife rehabilitation center for advice
  • For stray or feral domestic or semi-domestic birds (e.g., peafowl, chickens, racing pigeons), please contact your local animal control or animal services for assistance

For more information

CDPH Avian and Novel Influenza Quicksheet

CDFA Avian Influenza

USDA APHIS Avian Influenza

CDC Information on Bird Flu

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