The United States is approaching a record number of birds affected by bird flu this year
November 8, 2021
More than 49 million birds in 46 states have either died from bird flu or were culled (killed) after exposure to infected birds. Bird flu viruses mainly infect wild birds and backyard poultry, but some can spread to pets like dogs, cats, and pet birds, too. People can also sometimes get bird flu after close contact with infected animals or contaminated surfaces. Take the steps below to protect yourself and your animals from bird flu.
Protect yourself from bird flu
- Avoid contact with wild birds.
- Don’t touch sick or dead birds or their poop with bare hands.
- Don’t touch any surface or water source that might be contaminated with wild bird saliva or poop with bare hands. For example, bird feeders, ponds, and bird baths.
- Wear personal protective equipment (PPE) when around sick or dead birds.
- While cleaning contaminated areas or items, don’t stir up dust, bird waste, or feathers.
- Wash hands after soap and water after touching birds or surfaces they’ve come in contact with, even if you wore PPE.
- If your pet or birds in your backyard flock get bird flu or show signs of bird flu, monitor your health for fever and other symptoms.
Learn more about protecting yourself from bird flu
Protect your animals from bird flu
Animals that go outdoors could get bird flu through contact with wild birds or environments contaminated with bird flu virus.
- Don’t let pets eat or come in contact with wild birds.
- Protect birds housed outdoors from contact with wild birds, their poop, and any water they might come in contact with.
- If your pet eats or comes in contact with a wild or dead bird, contact your veterinarian.