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Avian Influenza Confirmed in Wild Birds in Florida

East Coast Outbreak Could Spread Into Polk

 

Last updated 2/23/2022 at 1:23pm

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) has been notified by the National Veterinary Services Laboratory of confirmed cases of Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) strain: H5 2.3.4.4 in a lesser scaup, black vultures and other avian species. There is a low risk of HPAI transmission to humans and, to date, there have been no known human infections in North America.

The FWC is currently investigating bird mortalities in Brevard, Indian River and Volusia counties believed to be caused by HPAI. This strain has been documented in the United States since 2021 and was detected in hunter-harvested blue-winged teal in Palm Beach County in January 2022.

To prevent the spread of HPAI, the public should avoid handling sick or dead wildlife, prohibit the contact of domestic birds with wild birds, and report wild bird mortalities to FWC so deaths can be investigated. Please be advised that because HPAI is not treatable and is easily transmitted in wild birds, some wildlife rehabbers may not be accepting these animals at this time.

The FWC is working closely with the United States Department of Agriculture-Wildlife Services, Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, University of Florida, National Wildlife Health Center, Southeastern Cooperative Wildlife Disease Study, Florida Department of Health, and wildlife rehabilitators to investigate mortality events involving wild birds.

 

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