Avian Flu Found In Massachusetts

Photo: Madison Rogers/WBZ NewsRadio

BOSTON (WBZ NewsRadio) — State officials are warning the public about Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) detected in birds in Essex County, Massachusetts.

According to the Department of Agricultural Resources' (MDAR) Division of Animal Health, a non-commercial, mixed-species backyard flock died suddenly without showing any other clinical signs of HPAI.

Samples taken from the birds tested positive for the disease, MDAR said Tuesday.

Similarly, 20 dead or dying wild Canada geese in coastal Essex County also tested positive for HPAI, MassWildlife said Wednesday. The geese were found in areas such as Plum Island, Salisbury Beach, and Parker River National Wildlife Refuge in Newbury.

Officials say HPAI is spreading among the wild bird population, especially in wild waterfowl. Humans who come across a sick or dead bird should stay away and keep pets clear as well.

"They're often stumbling around, disoriented," State Ornithologist Andrew Vitz told WBZ NewsRadio.

Anyone who finds a dead wild bird can report it to MassWildlife here.

WBZ's Madison Rogers (@madisonwbz) reports.

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