REPORT SICK OR DEAD BIRDS
(3 or more birds)
BACKYARD POULTRY OWNERS:
FREE TESTING OF DECEASED BIRDS AVAILABLE
Avian influenza, also known as bird flu or AI, is a
that infects birds. There are multiple strains of AI.
The name of each strain is based on two proteins (H and
N) on the surface of the virus. Examples of AI virus
include H5N1, H3N2, H3N8, etc.
Starting in 2014, a strain of AI called H5N8 appeared in
North America. It had originated in Asia and mixed
with AI already present in North America, creating new
mixed-origin H5 Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI)
viruses. These viruses were then carried by migrating
wild birds to new areas.
The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) has identified two mixed-origin
H5 viruses: H5N2 and
H5N1. The new H5N1 is
the H5N1 virus found in Asia that resulted in human
illness. H5 HPAI has been identified in other states
in both commercial and backyard flocks throughout the US.
RISK TO PUBLIC HEALTH
No human infection with these H5 viruses have been reported at
However, in some cases certain H5 HPAI viruses can
infect people and so it is important to prevent
There is no health or food safety risk from H5 HPAI if
food is handled and cooked appropriately.
Properly handling and cooking poultry or poultry product
to a temperature of 165ºF (74ºC) is safe for
consumption. However, there is potential risk for
poultry workers and people who come into contact with
infected poultry or contaminated environments. Spread
from person-person is rare and limited.
POULTRY WORKERS AND BIRD OWNERS
Whether involved in backyard or commercial poultry
production, bird handlers need to practice good biosecurity.
This means taking steps to prevent infectious diseases
from entering the flock. The most important steps are preventing contact between
wild birds and the flock, and protecting the flock from
exposure to wild bird feces.
Report to your
authorities if you notice the following in your flock:
Unusual or high death rates
Influenza like signs such as nasal
secretions, puffy eyes, ruffled feathers
or drop in egg production
Loss of appetite with decreased food and
Paralysis and other nervous signs
Lack of vocalization
AVIAN INFLUENZA IN LOS ANGELES COUNTY
H5 HPAI has not been reported in any birds in Los
Angeles County at this time.
H5 HPAI has been identified in commercial and backyard
poultry as well as wild birds in a number of
states, including California. Click to see an updated
map of H5 HPAI in the US (California Department of
Food and Agriculture - CDFA).
Click to see the
latest numbers of affected birds in
US Department of Agriculture (USDA)
Avian Influenza Information
Avian Influenza Outbreaks in the United States -
Questions and Answers
Influenza Fact sheet
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) -
H5 Viruses in the United States
Last updated: May 26, 2015