Pelican In Jackson County The Latest Wild Bird To Test Positive For Avian Flu

(CBS4) — Pathologists with Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) confirmed Friday the most recent positive test for highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) among the state’s wild bird population has come from a pelican found May 4 in Jackson County.

In a press release Friday, CPW stated the pelican was euthanized and tested after it exhibited HPAI symptoms.

Since March 24, when the first confirmed HPAI case was found in wild geese in northeastern Colorado, the disease has been confirmed in several species of wild birds in Routt, Jackson and Grand counties in Colorado.

The state’s first case of the disease in flock of domestic birds was discovered last month in Pitkin County.

The state health department announced the first human positive test of the bird flu little more than two weeks ago. An inmate with a state correctional facility in Delta County became ill after working at a poultry facility in Montrose County. That flock was destroyed.

File photo. (credit: CBS)

CPW advised hunters to wear rubber or latex gloves when handling or dressing wild game birds whenever possible, to wash their hands well with soap and water, and to never cross-contaminate tools, cleaning surfaces or cooking utensils.

Several disinfectant products are available that kill the virus, as referenced by the Environmental Protection Agency here.

Birds’ remains should also be disposed of in sealed plastic trash bags.

In addition, wild species (particularly waterfowl) should not be fed to raptors during HPAI outbreaks, CPW stated.

Citizens are asked to contact CPW if any wild birds are witnessed exhibiting the physical signs of infection.

The Colorado Department of Agriculture is to be contacted regarding possible infection of domestic poultry.