Washington state officials have issued a warning about a bird flu outbreak in a state park, leading to the removal of over 1,700 dead birds. The outbreak was first observed in early July and has affected birds and seals near Fort Flagler State Park in Jefferson County. The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife has taken action by removing dead Caspian terns and gulls on Rat Island, a wildlife preserve, and adjacent shores. Rat Island has been closed due to the outbreak, and there are preliminary indications that three harbor seals have also been infected. Health officials are advising people to avoid contact with wild animals, as bird flu can be transmitted to humans through contact with infected animals or contaminated surfaces.
Washington officials warn of bird flu outbreak in state park
Health officials in Washington are advising people to avoid contact with wild animals due to a deadly outbreak of avian influenza, also known as bird flu. The outbreak was first noticed in early July among birds and seals near Fort Flagler State Park in Jefferson County. The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife has removed over 1,700 dead Caspian terns and gulls on Rat Island, a wildlife preserve, and the adjacent shores. As a result of the outbreak, Rat Island has been closed to the public. Preliminary tests indicate that three harbor seals have also been infected, but final results are still pending.
Over 1,700 dead birds removed from Rat Island
The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife staff have been working tirelessly to remove the dead birds from Rat Island. So far, over 1,700 dead Caspian terns and gulls have been removed. These birds were found dead on Rat Island as well as the adjacent shores. The removal of the dead birds is an important step in containing the outbreak and preventing further spread of the virus.
Rat Island closed due to outbreak
In response to the bird flu outbreak, Rat Island has been closed to the public. This temporary closure is necessary to protect both wildlife and humans from the virus. By closing Rat Island, officials hope to prevent any further transmission of the virus and ensure the safety of visitors to the park.
Preliminary tests show infected harbor seals
Preliminary tests have shown that three harbor seals have been infected with bird flu. These seals were found near Fort Flagler State Park, where the outbreak was first noticed. However, final results are still pending. The infected seals highlight the seriousness of the situation and the need for immediate action to contain the outbreak.
Caspian terns infected along the lower Columbia River, Port of Everett, and Port of Tacoma
In addition to Rat Island, Caspian terns along the lower Columbia River, the Port of Everett, and the Port of Tacoma have also been infected with bird flu. This indicates that the outbreak has spread beyond Fort Flagler State Park. The infected Caspian terns serve as a warning that the virus can affect multiple locations and pose a threat to both wildlife and humans.
Importance of avoiding sick, dead, or young wild animals
Health officials emphasize the importance of avoiding contact with sick, dead, and young wild animals. The bird flu virus can be transmitted through close contact or exposure to infected animals. To minimize the risk of infection, it is crucial to stay away from animals that show signs of illness or distress. Additionally, it is important to avoid handling dead birds or animals, as they may still carry the virus.
Rare but possible for people to become infected with bird flu
While it is rare for people to become infected with bird flu, it is still possible. The virus can enter the body through the eyes, nose, mouth, or through inhalation. It is important to take precautions to reduce the risk of infection, such as avoiding close contact with infected animals and practicing good hygiene, including washing hands regularly.
Animals can also become sick from bird flu
It is not just humans who are at risk of bird flu. Animals, including pets and domestic poultry, can also become sick from the virus. Pet owners should prevent any contact between their pets and sick or dead animals to ensure their safety. It is important to monitor the health of pets and seek veterinary care if any signs of illness are observed.
Department of Fish and Wildlife asks for reporting sick or dead birds
The Department of Fish and Wildlife is asking the public to report any sick or dead birds they come across. By reporting these cases, officials can track the spread of the virus and take necessary actions to control the outbreak. The department has an online reporting system in place for convenient reporting of sick or dead birds.
Domestic poultry flocks with suspected bird flu should be reported
If there are suspicions of bird flu among domestic poultry flocks, it is important to report these cases to the Washington State Department of Agriculture. They can provide guidance and take appropriate measures to prevent further spread of the virus. Suspected cases of bird flu can be reported by contacting the department at 800-606-3056.
In conclusion, the bird flu outbreak in Washington state park is a serious concern for both wildlife and humans. It is crucial for people to avoid contact with wild animals, especially sick, dead, or young animals. The virus can also infect domestic poultry, so it is important to report any suspected cases to the appropriate authorities. By taking these precautions and reporting cases, officials can work towards containing the outbreak and protecting the health of both animals and humans.