Veterinary Public Health


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Contact Information
Veterinary Public Health Program
313 N Figueroa St. Rm 1127
Los Angeles, CA 90012
Tel (213) 288-7060
Fax (213) 481-2375
vet@ph.lacounty.gov
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Avian Influenza (AI) or "Bird Flu"
Geese flying
chickens in a flock
CDC Recommendations for Worker Protection and Use of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to Reduce Exposure to HPAI H5 Viruses / (En Espa˝ol)

REPORT SICK OR DEAD BIRDS
Complete this reporting form
and email to vet@ph.lacounty.gov or visit this public online reporting portal.
 

 

2022 Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) H5N1 in LA County

 

Press Release: First Eight Cases of Avian Flu Detected in Wild Birds in Los Angeles County; Risk of Transmission to Humans is Low 10.17.2022

 

HPAI Guidance for Animal Control, Shelter and Veterinary Facilities in Los Angeles County pdf icon56 10.27.2022

 

2022 HPAI in Los Angeles County Flyer (for posting by animal control/veterinary facilities) pdf icon56

 

2022 Altamente Patˇgeno Influenza Aviar (IAAP) en el Condado de Los Angeles pdf icon56

 

Reporting sick or dead birds

To report sick and dead poultry (such as chickens and turkeys):

  • Call 213-288-7060 (Monday to Friday, 8am-5pm)

  • After 5pm and on weekends - Call the California Sick Bird Hotline at        1-866-922-2473

 

To report clusters of 3 or more sick or dead birds:

  • Call 213-288-7060 (Monday to Friday, 8am-5pm)

 

To report individual sick or dead wild birds:

 

If you have sick poultry (such as chickens or turkeys):

  • Call 213-288-7060 (Monday to Friday, 8am-5pm)

  • After 5pm and on weekends - Call the California Sick Bird Hotline at        1-866-922-2473

  • Call your veterinarian

  •  

If you see a sick or dead wild bird:

  • Do not handle sick or dead wildlife.  If it is necessary to do so, wear gloves, mask and eye protection. 

  • If the wild bird is sick or injured, call your local animal control for assistance.  Call 211 to find your local animal control or click here.

  • If the bird is dead: Report to VPH using the online reporting portal.  Use an inverted plastic bag (as if picking up dog waste), shovel or other tool to handle the bird.  Ideally, double-bag the bird.  Place the bagged bird in a shaded area and put a separate bag of ice on top.  Afterwards, wash hands well with soap and water and change clothes before having contact with other birds.  If VPH does not contact you about testing the bird in 24 hours, dispose of the bird in your regular disposal bin (trash can). 

    • City of Los Angeles residents may call LA Sanitation for dead animal pickup at 1-800-773-2489 or click here.

 

If you have a sick pet bird:

  • Contact your veterinarian

 

HPAI in Los Angeles County flyerHPAI Flyer Esp

          2022 HPAI in Los Angeles County Flyer                              2022 IAAP en el Condado de Los Angeles

 

What is Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) H5N1?

Avian influenza (AI) or bird flu, is a viral infectious disease of birds caused by type A influenza viruses.  Although AI viruses can naturally be found in waterbirds, the current strain of H5N1 that is circulating in the U.S. and globally has been the cause of illness and death in a greater variety of wild bird species than in previous AI outbreaks.  The virus is also of concern for domestic poultry as it is highly contagious and may cause significant illness and death in backyard and commercial flocks.

 

Is HPAI in Los Angeles County?

As of October 2022, the first cases of avian flu or bird flu have been confirmed in LA County.  These cases are part of the ongoing nationwide bird flu outbreak, also known as HPAI H5N1. 

 

map showing suspect and confirmed cases of Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza in birds in Los Angeles County from January to December 27, 2022

*Updates to this map will be sporadic (not weekly).

 

What is the risk to human health from HPAI?

At this time, the risk to the general public's health from the current HPAI H5N1 virus is low.  However, some people may have job-related (animal control, veterinary clinic, poultry processing plants, etc.) or recreational exposures to birds that put them at higher risk of infection.  People who work with birds or handle sick birds should wear personal protective equipment (PPE) such as N-95 respirator, disposable gloves, properly-fitted eye protection, fluid-resistant disposable gown or coveralls, footwear that can be disinfected (e.g. rubber boots) or boot covers and head or hair cover.  For more information about protective actions that should be taken when handling birds, see here

 

HPAI Guidance for Animal Control, Shelter and Veterinary Facilities in Los Angeles County pdf icon56 10.27.2022

 

CDC Recommendations for Worker Protection and Use of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to Reduce Exposure to HPAI H5 Viruses / (En Espa˝ol)

 

What is the risk to wild birds and domestic birds from HPAI?

HPAI H5N1 is primarily a disease of poultry (chicken, turkeys) and may cause significant loss in backyard and commercial flocks.  In wild birds, the infection may cause mild to severe illness depending on the species affected. 

 

What are the symptoms of HPAI in poultry (chickens, turkeys)?

  • Sudden death of bird with no clinical symptoms

  • Lack of energy

  • Inappetence

  • Swelling of head, comb, eyelid, wattles and hocks

  • Discoloration of wattles, combs and legs

  • Nasal discharge

  • Coughing

  • Sneezing

  • Neurological signs (incoordination)

  • Diarrhea

 

What are the symptoms of HPAI in wild birds?

  • No symptoms

  • Neurological signs (incoordination, swimming in circles, weak)

  • Sudden death

 

How does HPAI spread?

The virus spreads through direct bird to bird contact or indirectly when virus is on clothing, footwear, vehicles, rodents, insects, feed, water, feathers, etc.  Birds release or shed the virus in bodily fluids such as respiratory droplets, mucus, saliva, and feces.

 

Help to reduce the spread and risk of avian influenza:

  • Take down bird feeders and bird baths to reduce interactions between wild birds and domestic birds and to reduce contamination of the ground/environment with wild bird droppings

  • Avoid contact with wild birds, even if they don't look sick

  • Avoid surfaces that may be contaminated with saliva or feces from wild or domestic birds

  • Keep dogs, cats and other pets away from wild birds

  • Do not handle sick or injured birds.  Contact your local animal control agency for help.  Call 211 to find your local animal control agency or click here.

  • Report sick or dead birds to Veterinary Public Health (VPH) by completing this reporting form and emailing it to vet@ph.lacounty.gov.  The public may report dead birds using the VPH online reporting portal.

 

Tips for keeping backyard or commercial poultry healthy:

Protect your Poultry from Avian Influenza - USDA

 

Social media posts to share or post

Please consider sharing or posting these images to increase awareness about HPAI.  Click on each image to make it larger.

 

wild birds can spread AI    did you know about HPAI?

Wild Birds Can Spread Avian Influenza                                               Did You Know About HPAI?

 

protect birds             protect pet birds

Protect Birds in Your Community                                               Protect Pet Birds From Bird Flu

 

help limit spread of HPAI

Help Limit the Spread of Bird Flu

 

MORE INFORMATION

2022 Detections of HPAI in the United States - United States Department of Agriculture (USDA)

Bird Flu Current Situation - CDC

Information on Bird Flu - CDC

Influenza - Protective Actions Around Birds - CDC

2022 Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza - California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW)

EPA Information on Antimicrobial Products to Use Against Avian Influenza - Environmental Protection Agency

Recommendations for Worker Protection and Use of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to Reduce Exposure to HPAI H5 Viruses / (En Espa˝ol) - CDC

 

General Information about Avian Influenza

 What is avian influenza?

  • Avian influenza (AI) refers to a family of influenza (flu) viruses that commonly infect birds.

  • There are many strain of AI viruses. They are classified based on proteins found on the surface of the virus itself. These are called H (hemagglutinin) and N (neuraminidase).

  • Depending on the strain involved, AI viruses can occasionally jump to humans and many animal species, causing symptoms of flu.

  • Some of most important AI viruses are those that cause severe disease in poultry. These are referred to as Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI).

    • Note: HPAI strains causing disease in poultry do not always cause disease in humans.

  

How is AI transmitted to people/animals?

  • In the wild, AI viruses can be carried by waterfowl (ducks, geese) - these birds usually do not have symptoms of flu but can shed or release the virus in their feces (poop).

  • Domestic birds like poultry (chickens, turkeys) become infected when they come in contact with waterfowl feces containing the virus.

    • Objects or equipment used to care for animals can become contaminated and spread the virus to other animals if not cleaned properly (e.g., clothing, footwear, vehicles, feed, water, feathers, rodents, other animals).

  • In addition, infected domestic birds can pass the virus to each other through direct bird-to-bird contact or through saliva, mucus, feces, or respiratory droplets.

  • Humans may become infected with some strains of AI through close, direct contact with infected poultry. Human to human transmission of AI rarely occurs.

  

What are symptoms of AI?

            Animals:

  • Depending on the strain involved, infected birds can show any of the following: no symptoms, respiratory discharge, swollen eyes or head, lack of appetite, lack of energy, weakness, diarrhea, respiratory distress (trouble breathing), sudden death, or nervous signs such as swimming in circles, tremors, or lack of coordination.

  • Click here to learn more about AI in animals. (CFSPH)

            Humans:

  • As in animals, symptoms of AI in people vary with the infecting strains. Common symptoms include: fever, cough, muscle aches, conjunctivitis and sometimes pneumonia.

  • Click here to learn more about AI infections in humans. (CDC)

  

What is the treatment for AI?

  • Commercial birds with AI are usually euthanized to prevent further spread of the virus.

  • Click here for information about AI treatment in people.

  • (CDC)

     

What should I do to prevent AI in  animals or myself?

Biosecurity and infection control are key to prevent the spread of AI to animals and people. This includes:

  • Take down bird feeders and bird baths.  This helps to reduce interactions between sick and healthy birds as well reduces the chances that wild birds will interact with domestic or pet birds.

  • Keep pet birds indoors

  • Do not let pet birds have contact with wild birds

  • Isolate sick birds from the healthy ones

  • Wear appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) when handling sick birds (mask, gloves, eye protection, dedicated clothing that can be laundered and footwear that can be disinfected)

  • After touching birds, wash hands well with soap and water

  • If you have poultry or backyard flocks at home, be sure to wash hands and change clothing/disinfect footwear and equipment before you handle your birds, especially if you have visited areas with wild birds or other poultry

  • Report sick/dead poultry to Veterinary Public Health with this form or by calling 213-288-7060 or emailing vet@ph.lacounty.gov.

 



Last updated: December 28, 2022

 
 
Public Health has made reasonable efforts to provide accurate translation. However, no computerized translation is perfect and is not intended to replace traditional translation methods. If questions arise concerning the accuracy of the information, please refer to the English edition of the website, which is the official version.
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