ST. LOUIS COUNTY, Mo. — In St. Louis County, a presumptive positive bird flu case was found in a wild bird, officials with the county's health department said.
This is the sixth case of bird flu reported in wild birds in Missouri in Spring 2022 and the first case in St. Louis County, officials said.
Bird flu has been detected in the U.S. in recent months in both wild birds and commercial flocks.
The bird flu is not an immediate public health threat, a statement from the St. Louis County Department of Health said. Acting director Dr. Faisal Khan said the test marks the importance of health surveillance testing in both animals and people.
Dr. Khan said people should take caution if they see sick or dead birds.
“Even though HPAI is very rare in humans, it is important to not handle sick or dead birds and report any sick or dead wild birds to the Missouri Department of Conservation,” Dr. Khan said.
Any bird can get infected with bird flu, according to the health dept. statement.
Infected birds will display neurological symptoms like tremors, head tilting, and the inability to fly or walk properly.
For more information about bird flu, click here.
Steps to minimize the risk:
- Avoid handling sick or dead birds, particularly wild birds.
- If you find a wild bird that is acting abnormal, please contact the St. Louis Regional Office of the Missouri Department of Conservation at (636) 441-4554.
- For domestic birds, please call the Animal Health Division of the Missouri Department of Agriculture at (573) 751-3377.
- If you eat poultry or wild game, please make sure to cook the meat to an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Hunters should be careful while harvesting birds in the field or at home – it is possible to transport the virus on boats, waders, or other equipment.
- Please make sure to allow your hunting equipment to dry between outings.
- If you develop any flu-like symptoms after exposure to a bird that exhibits unusual symptoms, please contact DPH immediately at 314-615-7677.