can other animals get the bird flu

Bird owners should immediately contact their veterinarian or call the USDA toll-free hotline (866-536-7593) to report sick birds, including backyard flocks and migratory birds like ducks and geese.

The viruses that cause avian influenza (or “bird flu”) mainly infect and spread among wild aquatic birds, such as wild ducks, geese, and storks, and domestic poultry, such as chickens and turkeys. Backyard flocks (poultry or non-poultry) are also at risk, as are captive or pet birds with access to the outdoors, where they could be exposed to infected wild birds.

“Highly pathogenic” avian influenza (HPAI) viruses are of particular concern because they cause severe disease and death in poultry. H5N1 viruses are the most notable in this regard. Most wild birds don’t get sick from HPAI but can still circulate and carry the viruses wherever they migrate. The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service keeps data on HPAI detection in wild birds and poultry (commercial poultry and backyard or hobbyist flocks) in the U.S., which you can use to see if there’s an outbreak of HPAI in your county.

Additionally, close contacts (family members, etc. ) of persons who have come into contact with an individual or animal that carries bird flu viruses that have been verified by a lab should also keep an eye out for symptoms and indicators of illness for ten days following their exposure. In the event that close contacts of individuals exposed to H5 bird flu viruses exhibit symptoms, they should also get in touch with their state’s health department. More Information.

If you come across a sick or dead bird, find out from your state’s wildlife agency, veterinary diagnostic lab, or health department what their protocols are for gathering and testing these types of animals.

People should, as a general precaution, stay away from close encounters with wild birds and, whenever feasible, observe them from a distance. People should also avoid contact between their pets (e. g. , pet birds, dogs and cats) with wild birds. Avoid touching dead or sick birds, their droppings or litter, any surface, or any source of water. g. without donning personal protective equipment (PPE) that could be contaminated by their feces, saliva, or any other bodily fluids (ponds, waterers, buckets, pans, troughs) Prevention and Antiviral Treatment of Bird Flu Viruses in People has more details on the precise measures that can be taken to stop the spread of bird flu viruses from animals to humans. You can find more details about the proper personal protective equipment to wear at Backyard Flock Owners: Take Action to Protect Yourself from Avian Influenza. More Information.

If your domestic animals (e.g., cats or dogs) go outside and could potentially eat or be exposed to sick or dead birds infected with bird flu viruses, or an environment contaminated with bird flu virus, they could become infected with bird flu. While it’s unlikely that you would get sick with bird flu through direct contact with your infected pet, it is possible. For example, in 2016, the spread of bird flu from a cat to a person was reported in NYC. The person who was infected [2.29 MB, 4 pages] was a veterinarian who had mild flu symptoms after prolonged exposure to sick cats without using personal protective equipment.

If, within 10 days of being exposed to an infected or possibly infected animal, you experience any of these signs or symptoms, contact your state or local health department right away. Discuss your potential exposure and ask about testing. If testing is advised, try to stay as far away from people as you can until the results are in and/or you’ve recovered from your illness.

What are the signs of avian influenza in birds?

To stop the spread of HPAI in birds, early detection is crucial. One or more of the following symptoms may be present in infected poultry, as well as potentially pet birds:

  • Sudden death with no prior signs
  • Low energy or appetite
  • Purple discoloration or swelling of various body parts
  • Reduced egg production, or soft-shelled/misshapen eggs
  • Nasal discharge, coughing, or sneezing
  • Lack of coordination
  • Diarrhea

Besides wild birds, can other animals and people catch avian influenza?

There may be other ways the virus spreads, and eating sick or dead infected birds can infect certain mammals, such as domestic cats and dogs. However, the risk of dogs and cats contracting HPAI appears to be very low.

Although exposure to an HPAI-infected bird can infect humans, this rarely occurs and usually involves infected poultry. There is very little chance that humans will contract HPAI from infected dogs or cats.


Can other animals get avian bird flu?

Since 2022, the outbreaks of bird flu on poultry farms have been mostly sporadic, with flareups here and there. But the virus continues to spread — to different places and to different kinds of animals, including both wild and domestic mammals.

Can pigs get bird flu?

While cattle aren’t known for being an ideal host for many flu viruses, pigs are potent viral mixing vessels. That’s because swine have both human-adapted receptors and avian-adapted receptors in their respiratory tracts, Moncla said, meaning they can be infected with either type of pathogen.

Can humans get bird flu?

Since the start of 2020 through February 26, 26 confirmed cases of H5N1 bird flu had been reported to the World Health Organization, resulting in seven deaths. Only one other person in the US has been infected with bird flu — a man in Colorado who was exposed in 2022 while culling sick poultry.

Can squirrels get bird flu?

H5N1 detected in polar bear and squirrel In related developments, APHIS reported two more detections in mammals. These are the first detections since September, when H5N1 was reported in seals from Washington.