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Avian flu in wild birds detected in five additional Utah counties

Posted at 3:39 PM, May 26, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-26 19:58:37-04

SALT LAKE CITY — The Utah Division of Wildlife Resources confirmed Thursday that avian flu in wild birds has spread to five additional counties in Utah.

The first case in wild birds was detected in Cache County earlier this month and more results from dead birds throughout the state confirm the virus is spreading.

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Officials said that as of Thursday, ten wild birds have tested positive for avian flu. The birds were located in Cache, Weber, Salt Lake, Utah, Tooele and Carbon counties.

Wild birds that tested positive include Canada geese, great horned owls, hawks, pelicans, turkey vultures and ducks, DWR explained.

Of the recent birds that tested positive, three of them were found on the shore of Scofield Reservoir, located in Carbon county. Officials with the Department of Environmental Quality said drinking water and recreational activities would not be impacted since the water is treated.

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“If anyone finds a group of five or more dead waterfowl or shorebirds or any individual dead scavengers or raptors, they should report it to the nearest DWR office and absolutely make sure not to touch the birds or pick them up,” DWR Veterinarian Ginger Stout said in a statement. “Just report it to us, and we will come collect them for testing. We are continuing to monitor this virus in wild bird populations. It typically doesn’t have much of an impact on the overall populations of waterfowl, but it’s likely that we will have some die now that it’s been confirmed in wild birds in the state.”

Test results from other dead birds are pending.