FWC says bird flu is probably in Duval County, but humans at low risk

FWC map showing cases of Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) or “Bird Flu” in the state. (Copyright 2022 by WJXT News4Jax - All rights reserved.)

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – As “bird flu” continues to spread across coastal counties in the state, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) said Monday it has identified a presumptive case in Duval County.

FWC said it has been investigating deaths of various bird species believed to be caused by Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI), commonly referred to as bird flu. There have already been confirmed cases in Volusia, Brevard, Martin and Charlotte counties.

While there are concerns when it comes to birds, FWC said there is a low risk of bird flu transmission to humans and there have been no known human infections in North America.

To prevent the spread of HPAI, the public should avoid handling sick or dead wildlife, prohibit the contact of domestic birds with wild birds, and report wild bird mortalities so die-offs can be investigated. FWC said that because HPAI is very contagious and not treatable in wild birds, some wildlife rehabbers may not be accepting these animals at this time.

The H5 strain has been documented in the US since 2021 and was detected in Palm Beach County in January 2022 from a hunter-harvested blue-winged teal.

To see a map of cases in Florida and to get answers to questions, visit the FWC website.

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