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With “bird flu” being detected in Massachusetts, officials offer important safety tips



DIGHTON — Dighton Animal Control Officer Stacy Ferry has announced that Avian Flu has been detected in Massachusetts and is offering important safety tips to prevent the spread of the virus.

According to the Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources, Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza has been detected in wild birds in the state. As a result of this detection, all domestic poultry in Massachusetts may be at risk of exposure.

Avian Flu, also known as “bird flu,” is a common influenza strain that can spread from birds to humans through saliva, nasal secretion and feces. Waterbirds including shorebirds and waterfowl, especially dabbling ducks like mallards, are most likely to carry the virus.

While Avian Flu is not common among humans, it is very contagious among birds. This flu can be fatal for birds like chickens and turkeys.

It is recommended that if you have a flock of chickens, make sure that good biosecurity is being used to protect the flock. Flock owners and visitors may accidentally expose their flocks to HPAI through contaminated shoes, clothing, or equipment. Community members are also encouraged to keep wild waterbirds away from their flock.

Flock owners and visitors should also be mindful of accidental exposure of Avian Flu to their flocks through contaminated shoes, clothing, or equipment.

Community members are also encouraged to avoid unnecessary contact with birds if possible to prevent infection. Infections can happen if the virus gets into a person’s eyes, nose or mouth, or is inhaled.

If you find a deceased bird that is domestic, call MDAR Animal Health at 617-626-1795. If the bird is wild, call MDFG Fisheries and Wildlife (MassWildlife) at 508-389-6300.

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