First bird flu cases in wildfowl reported in Los Angeles County this year
The H5N1 avian flu is transmitted through poultry from avian cases, according to the CDC
Poultry farmers have reported a high rate of H5N1 avian flu virus among their birds at a farm in Ventura County
LA JOLLA/WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Officials in southern California have reported the first local cases of the deadly avian flu outbreak in wildfowl this year.
In a statement on Wednesday, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said six wildfowl were among 22 dead birds recovered from wild in the Los Angeles area after an apparent outbreak of the highly virulent H5N1 virus.
It said the H5N1 strain of the virus was transmitted between chickens and wildfowl, as opposed to the H7N7 strain used to infect humans.
“We found evidence that some birds were infected with a variant of the H5N1 virus that has been transmissible from poultry,” the statement said.
It said further investigation would be conducted by the agency’s National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases and would include testing of potential live poultry markets in Los Angeles County.
The CDC said it was working with local and federal health officials to investigate the outbreak.
“The fact that a new strain of virus has been found in wild birds this year is extremely concerning,” said Dr Scott Crumley, an associate professor of medicine at the University of California, San Diego.
“We have had this bird flu in wild ducks and geese in central California for the last two or three years. This is the first time we’ve seen it in wild birds over here and we’re now actively investigating how it got here.”
In a statement, the Los Angeles city Department of Recreation and Parks said it was working with the San Diego County Department of