DEC confirms avian flu impact on wild birds in multiple locations

State veterinarian Dr. Robert Gerlach says his office has confirmed several cases of highly pathogenic avian influenza in Alaska, including bald eagles and Canada geese, after testing through the Alaska Department of Conservation.

The department’s Office of the State Veterinarian, in collaboration with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, is posting information on confirmed cases in wild and domestic birds on its website so that the public can be aware of where the avian flu has been found.

“We’ve now confirmed avian flu in several bald eagles on Unalaska in the Aleutian Islands, several Canada geese in the Anchorage area, and a Canada goose in Delta Junction,” Gerlach said. “Additional wild birds were collected by USFWS over the weekend for testing.”

Gerlach said Alaskans enjoying activities outdoors this spring and summer avoid interacting with wild bird or allowing pets to interact with them. He asked that people keep an eye out and report any sick or dead birds that they see to the USFWS Alaska Sick/Dead Bird Hotline at 1-866-527-3358. The USFWS website has information on the behaviors to look for that would suggest the bird has avian flu.

The Office of the State Veterinarian has also posted information on how to protect domestic birds from avian flu, and Alaska’s Department of Health and Social Services has posted information and resources regarding human health concerns related to avian flu.