First bird flu cases in wildfowl reported in Los Angeles County this year
This story is part of the Los Angeles Times’ “The Bird Flu in the City.”
It is difficult to make predictions about the coronavirus pandemic’s long-term impact on wild birds in Southern California. But it seems clear such birds are having a hard time coexisting with people in L.A. County.
A report released by a group of L.A. County birds of prey last week said there are more than three times as many active bird flu cases in the county now than there were last year.
For those who are concerned about the long-term impact of live viruses on wildlife in the County, there are ways to find out, according to a group of experts gathered at the County’s first public meeting to address the ongoing problem of bird flu in the area this week.
For those who are concerned about the long-term impact of live viruses on wildlife in the County, there are ways to find out. For instance, check the public health website for your area (and click on “emergency measures”) to find out where the current birds of prey hotspots are. Then call their local poison control hotline to report an animal.
To be sure, there have been more than a hundred cases of bird flu in a relatively short time. Last year, there were 17 cases, and this year there are nearly three times as many as there were last year. And unlike the swine flu, which is contained in the wildfowl and is not transmitted to people or other animals, the bird flu is very likely to spread. If a bird that has contracted it were to pass it on to another bird, it would likely spread like wild fire.
The bird flu is transmitted by contact with an infected bird and the fluids it sheds, such as saliva or tears. It is also transmitted in close bodily contact and can be spread by contact with the feces of infected birds or via insects such as ticks and mosquitoes.
The bird flu does not have an illness and only causes lethargy, in some birds, a rapid loss of appetite and, in others, a very rapid death