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NC wild birds are first confirmed deaths due to avian flu

NC Wildlife Resources Commission
NC Wildlife Resources Commission Website
It's been confirmed that a snow goose in Hyde County exhibited signs of HPAI prior to being euthanized. The HPAI virus was later confirmed by an Iowa lab.

The first documented wild bird mortalities due to a highly infectious avian flu were confirmed by North Carolina natural resource agencies Wednesday.

Highly pathogenic avian influenza, commonly known as bird flu has killed at least four wild birds in North Carolina. According to the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission, a redhead duck in Carteret County was among these birds and was observed with neurological signs consistent with bird flu before it was euthanized. The other birds were found in Dare, Hyde, and Wake counties.

In January, the commission confirmed a positive test in a wild duck for bird flu in Hyde County, along with a second positive test in South Carolina. According to a news release, these were the first wild birds in the United States to have that strain of bird flu since 2016.

This type of virus is considered low risk to people, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, but can be dangerous to other birds including domestic poultry. The public is encouraged to report unusual wild bird behavior.

For more information, visit the NC Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services website.

Meredith Radford is a News Reporter for Public Radio East. She studied at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, receiving a degree in Journalism and Political Science. Born and raised in Eastern North Carolina, Meredith is excited to cover the area and contribute to the community. When not out reporting, she enjoys hiking, camping and kayaking as well as baking.