First bird flu cases in wildfowl reported in Los Angeles County this year
The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health announced the first confirmed cases of bird flu in wild birds in Los Angeles County this fall.
The first bird flu death was reported in Torrance in October. The first two confirmed cases came in three weeks later in Novato. As of March 2010, the department said there were 16 confirmed cases in wild birds in Los Angeles County.
Bird flu is a disease caused by a highly-contagious influenza virus.
Since this winter’s outbreak, the California Department of Fish and Game issued a number of recommendations in areas where hunters participate in quail hunting, such as the California Quail Federation and the Quail Game Foundation. Many of these areas are in agricultural areas or close to agricultural lands.
CDPH is currently working with the Quail Game Foundation on monitoring for bird flu in the Pacific Flyway, which includes California, Oregon, Washington and New Mexico.
To read more about bird flu and its prevention and control measures, see:
Bird flu is a highly contagious disease known to have been caused by an influenza virus that was first identified in North America in 1937 and which was found mainly in wild birds. It is transmitted from one bird to another when they breathe the droppings of infected birds or touch objects that are contaminated by the droppings.
No vaccine to prevent the spread of bird flu currently exists.
Bird flu is of concern to public health officials because it is a virus that is both contagious and potentially deadly. There is no vaccine to prevent bird flu.
Bird flu is not new to California. It is also known as transmittable avian influenza (TAI) and can be transmitted from bird to bird through the fecal-oral route.
“There have been about 300 documented cases of bird flu in wild birds in North America,” said Dr. Tom Reid, spokesman for the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health. “There have been no reported deaths for bird flu in the United States.”
Bird flu in California has been reported in the last two years. The first confirmed cases were reported in 2009. There have been three confirmed cases this year, all