Bird Flu Outbreak
As you may have heard, a new severe form of bird flu known as highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI)virus, subtype H5N1, is causing illness in both domestic and wild birds. It is hoped this will subside with warmer weather. First detected in North America in December, it has spread throughout the US, resulting in the loss of 35 million domestic poultry, as well as numerous wild birds. In our region, HPAI has been confirmed in Bald Eagles and wild ducks, but has not been as impactful as other areas of the country.
This flu variant can be carried and spread by waterfowl, shore birds, gulls, and crows that show no symptoms. It is highly fatal to poultry, raptors, and some other wild bird species. Biologists are concerned it could become transmissible to humans, but this has not been an issue thus far. TWC has been collaborating with the PA Game Commission and professionals at other rehab centers and zoos to monitor the incidence of HPAI, protect TWC’s beloved education birds, and keep our staff, volunteers, and the public safe.
Due to concerns about the virus, please do not arrive unannounced at the center with a wild bird! We are still treating birds, but they are being admitted at an offsite location for evaluation and testing prior to moving to the center for treatment. Our phone helpline volunteers will give you instructions for admission.