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Avian Influenza

Return to Other Wildlife Diseases

 
  • There are 144 forms of Avian Influenza, some have always been present and commonly occur in wild birds.
  • Currently, Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) of the H5N1 strain has not been detected in North America.
  • There is no evidence that anyone has contracted the virus from eating a fully cooked bird, either domestic or wild; it is always a good measure to fully cook wild game, regardless of whether there is a threat of HPAI.
  • The virus is not easily transmitted from birds to people.
  • Dogs also are not at high risk to contract the virus.
  • Starting this fall, there will be ongoing surveillance programs beginning in North Dakota, and other states, in an attempt to detect HPAI H5N1 in wild birds. Advice for Hunters: (These guidelines are applicable when handling any wild game)
  • Do not handle game that is found dead or appears to be sick.
  • Do not eat, drink, or smoke while cleaning game, and avoid contamination of your eyes, mouth, nose, or any open cuts or sores with blood or other fluids from game that you are cleaning.
  • Wash hands, cleaning utensils, and other surfaces with soap and hot water immediately after cleaning game.
  • Cook game thoroughly (internal temperature of 160 degrees Fahrenheit).

For more detailed information on Avian Influenza, please go to: