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Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) is confirmed present here in Eugene as of May 2022.

Oregon wildlife rehabilitators (including Cascades Raptor Center) cannot respond to any injured, orphaned, or ill waterfowl while the virus is circulating. These birds are the most likely to spread HPAI, even if they have no symptoms.

What to do if you find a sick bird

  • Do not touch the bird!
  • If the bird is a raptor in the Eugene/Springfield area, call us at (541) 485-1320 ext. 1 to speak with clinic staff.
  • Report the sighting. This helps the state monitor the virus’s spread.

    • For wild birds, call ODFW at (866) 968-2600 or e-mail [email protected].
    • For poultry, call ODA at (503) 986-4711.

But what about the sick bird? Unfortunately, there is very little that can be done for infected birds. Their chance of recovery is poor and wildlife hospitals must euthanize them immediately, as they are at extremely high risk for spreading the virus to other birds on site. 

What is avian flu?

Avian flu is a naturally occurring virus that does not affect humans but can be very deadly to raptors and domestic poultry.

The virus is usually transmitted through contact with the droppings of an infected bird. It can also be carried in an infected bird’s saliva or nasal mucus.

It is very easy to spread from one surface to another and can remain viable for weeks outside a host.

Symptoms are respiratory and/or neurological and can include: lack of coordination, lethargy, convulsions, coughing or sneezing, gasping, and diarrhea.

For more information, see ODFW’s official statement here.

HOW AVIAN FLU AFFECTS DIFFERENT ANIMALS

Raptors: HIGH RISK

HPAI is very dangerous to raptors. They can become infected by feeding on sick or dead birds.

Poultry: HIGH RISK

HPAI mortality rates for domestic poultry can be as high as 90%. If you have a backyard poultry flock, learn how to keep your birds safe here.

Waterfowl: CARRIER RISK

Waterfowl (e.g. ducks, geese, shorebirds) do not always have symptoms, but are the biggest spreaders of the virus. They migrate widely and can contaminate bodies of water.

 

Songbirds: Low Risk

The current HPAI strain does not affect songbirds. There is no need to take down bird feeders unless you also keep backyard poultry.

Humans: Low Risk

HPAI cases in humans are extremely rare and not severe.

Other Mammals: Low Risk

Other mammals like dogs, cats, and horses are also not at risk for HPAI.

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