Veterinary Public Health


Pet Health Calendar
Contact Information
Veterinary Public Health Program
313 N Figueroa St. Rm 1127
Los Angeles, CA 90012
Tel (213) 989-7060
Fax (213) 481-2375
vet@ph.lacounty.gov
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Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) in United States, 2014-2015
Chickens on a lawn - Thinkstock
 
REPORT SICK OR DEAD BIRDS
(3 or more birds)

Reporting form pdf icon

 

BACKYARD POULTRY OWNERS:

FREE TESTING OF DECEASED BIRDS AVAILABLE HERE
 

BACKGROUND

  

Avian influenza, also known as bird flu or AI, is a virus that infects birds. There are multiple strains of AI. The name of each strain is based on two proteins (H and N) on the surface of the virus. Examples of AI virus include H5N1, H3N2, H3N8, etc.

 

Starting in 2014, a strain of AI called H5N8 appeared in North America. It had originated in Asia and mixed  with AI already present in North America, creating new mixed-origin H5 Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) viruses. These viruses were then carried by migrating wild birds to new areas.

 

The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) has identified two mixed-origin H5 viruses: H5N2 and H5N1. The new H5N1 is NOT the H5N1 virus found in Asia that resulted in human illness. H5 HPAI  has been identified in other states in both commercial and backyard flocks throughout the US.

 

  

RISK TO PUBLIC HEALTH

 

No human infection with these H5 viruses have been reported at this time. However, in some cases certain H5 HPAI  viruses can infect people and so it is important to prevent infections.

 

There is no health or food safety risk from H5 HPAI if food is handled and cooked appropriately. Properly handling and cooking poultry or poultry product to a temperature of 165ºF (74ºC) is safe for consumption. However, there is potential risk for poultry workers and people who come into contact with infected poultry or contaminated environments. Spread from person-person is rare and limited.

 

  

POULTRY WORKERS AND BIRD OWNERS

 

Whether involved in backyard or commercial poultry production, bird handlers need to practice good biosecurity. This means taking steps to prevent infectious diseases from entering the flock. The most important steps are preventing contact between wild birds and the flock, and protecting the flock from exposure to wild bird feces.

 

Report to your Local and State veterinary authorities if you notice the following in your flock:

  • Unusual or high death rates

  • Influenza like signs such as nasal secretions, puffy eyes, ruffled feathers or drop in egg production

  • Loss of appetite with decreased food and water consumption

  • Paralysis and other nervous signs

  • Lack of vocalization

 

  

AVIAN INFLUENZA IN LOS ANGELES COUNTY

 

H5 HPAI has not been reported in any birds in Los Angeles County at this time. H5 HPAI has been identified in commercial and backyard poultry as well as wild birds in a number of states, including California. Click to see an updated map of H5 HPAI in the US (California Department of Food and Agriculture - CDFA).

 

Click to see the latest numbers of affected birds in California.

 

  

MORE INFORMATION

 

US Department of Agriculture (USDA)

          Avian Influenza Information

          Avian Influenza Outbreaks in the United States - Questions and Answers pdf icon

          Avian Influenza Fact sheet pdf icon

 

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) - H5 Viruses in the United States

           

 

Last updated: May 26, 2015

 
 
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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