It isn't rare to see a dead bird while you are walking the dog or out for a run but it isn't a common sight either. If the latest warning from the New York Department of Environmental Conservation holds true you may be seeing more and more dead birds around New York State.

Just this morning as I was walking through the parking lot at work there was the sad sight of a dead bird and now I am wondering if it is the Avian Flu.

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This week the DEC have announced that the Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza virus has been found in multiple wild bird species in several areas of New York State and there are some precautions we should be taking to ensure we and our pets don't catch the virus.

The first is easy as the DEC suggests that we stay away from wild birds. Done! To date, this bird flu has not infected any humans in the United States and, according to the U.S. CDC, these recent cases of Avian Flu do not present an immediate public health concern.

Lainie Rae
Lainie Rae

There are reports that, although rare, some pet birds have been infected with the Avian Flu and have died. The latest strain of the disease is showing the potential of killing a large number of wild birds and domestic poultry which could effect New York farms. If your animals have food and water sources that wild birds can also access there is a chance of virus transmission.

Here are the New York Counties where the Avian Flu has been detected in captive chickens, pheasants, and ducks.

  • Dutchess
  • Ulster
  • Monroe
  • Fulton

The Avian Flu was detected in free-ranging wild birds in these New York Counties:

  • Cayuga
  • Clinton
  • Montgomery
  • Monroe
  • Onondaga
  • Seneca
  • Suffolk
  • Nassau
  • Livingston
  • Wayne

While the risk of a person becoming infected is low, individuals can protect themselves by only harvesting game that appears to be healthy and properly cooking any game meat being eaten to an internal temperature of 165° F.

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