First bird flu cases in wildfowl reported in Los Angeles County this year
There have been three confirmed cases of H5N1 in wildfowl this year in Los Angeles County.
The first case was a mallard duck that died in May of this year on North Valley Road in the Conejo Country community.
The second was a pair of mallards that were found dead near the community of Chino Hills on June 2.
The third case was a mallard duck found dead on the beach south of the community of El Segundo on May 21.
This is just a small sample of the bird flu cases that have been reported this year in wildfowl through the Los Angeles Times.
“I don’t think it’s enough to say we have more cases,” said Dr. Gary Kobinger, director of the Center for Wildlife Health at the University of Georgia. “But, there are more reports of those illnesses, so it does lend support to the fact that it’s in wildfowl populations.”
As the number of wildfowl reported has increased, it is important that people be aware of the risks when they are handling wildfowl, Dr. Kobinger said.
“When we’re talking about wildfowl, you’ve got birds that may well be infected with bird flu, but they may also be infected with common strains that are present in wildfowl populations,” he said. “The risk there is that there is the possibility of the virus jumping from the wildfowl to the domestic birds, even though it does appear to be less likely that way.
“We have to get a lot of these diseases under control to move forward with this,” he said. “We’ve got to find a way of preventing the spread of these diseases before we can have an epidemic.”
People can help prevent the spread of the virus, Dr. Kobinger said, by not touching wild birds or their droppings and by not exposing them to wildfowl.
“It’s a good idea to wash your hands with soap and