County Health Department Bird Flu Alert

A highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) A(H5N1) virus has been detected in wild birds, commercial poultry and backyard flocks in several states, beginning in January, according to the US Health Department. New York State (NYSDOH). On February 19, 2022, the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets (AGM) announced the first detection of this HPAI virus in a small non-commercial backyard flock in Suffolk County. Subsequently, the virus was also detected in birds in Dutchess and Ulster counties.

Avian influenza (AI) is caused by an influenza A virus carried by free-flying waterfowl such as ducks, geese and shorebirds, but can also infect domestic poultry such as chickens, turkeys, pheasants, quails, domestic ducks, geese and guinea fowl; and raptors. Infected wild birds can carry these viruses without getting sick, but domestic poultry get very sick and often die from these viruses.

The CDC considers the current public health risk from the HPAI (H5N1) virus in the United States to be low. Human infections with other HPAI viruses have occurred following close, prolonged, and unprotected exposure to infected birds or to an environment that has been contaminated by infected birds (eg, feces, feathers) . People who may be at greater risk of infection include those who are more likely to come into contact with infected birds, particularly poultry workers, people responding to an outbreak on a poultry farm, and waterfowl hunters. . There is probably no risk of infection for the general public. People in close or prolonged unprotected contact with infected birds or virus-contaminated environments may be at higher risk of infection.

Because human infections with HPAI are possible, all individuals exposed to birds suspected or confirmed to have H5N1 HPAI should self-monitor for any of the following signs and symptoms for 10 days after their latest exhibition:

Fever (temperature of 100°F [37.8°C] or more) or feeling feverish/chills

· Diarrhea

Cough

· Nausea

· Sore throat

Vomiting

runny or stuffy nose

· Tired

· To sneeze

Seizures

muscle or body pain

Rash

· Headache

Watering, redness, eye irritation

Difficulty breathing/shortness of breath

Exposed individuals with signs or symptoms within the 10-day period should contact a healthcare provider to discuss possible testing. Medical and veterinary providers should report suspected and positive cases to the Orange County Health Department at 845-291-2330.

Sick or dead birds should be reported to the NYS Department of Agriculture and Markets, Division of Animal Industry OR the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation: [email protected], (518)-457-3502, www.agriculture.ny. gov/animals/poultry https://www.dec.ny.gov/about/558.html#region3 (for the DEC office that covers Orange County)

Additional information on avian influenza is available from:

• Centers for Disaster Control and Prevention

https://www.cdc.gov/flu/avianflu/index.htm

• United States Department of Agriculture

https://www.aphis.usda.gov/aphis/ourfocus/animalhealth/animal-disease-information/avian/avian-influenza/ai

For additional questions, call the Orange County Health Department at 845-291-2330

Because human infections with HPAI are possible, all individuals exposed to birds suspected or confirmed to have H5N1 HPAI should self-monitor for any of the following signs and symptoms for 10 days after their latest exhibition:

Fever (temperature of 100°F [37.8°C] or more) or feeling feverish/chills

· Diarrhea

Cough

· Nausea

· Sore throat

Vomiting

runny or stuffy nose

· Tired

· To sneeze

Seizures

muscle or body pain

Rash

· Headache

Watering, redness, eye irritation

Difficulty breathing/shortness of breath

Exposed individuals with signs or symptoms within the 10-day period should contact a healthcare provider to discuss possible testing. Medical and veterinary providers should report suspected and positive cases to the Orange County Health Department at 845-291-2330.

The CDC considers the current public health risk from the HPAI (H5N1) virus in the United States to be low. Human infections with other HPAI viruses have occurred following close, prolonged, and unprotected exposure to infected birds or to an environment that has been contaminated by infected birds (eg, feces, feathers) .