LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Several local agencies issued health alerts this week, after cases of Highly Pathogenic Avian Flu (HPAI) were confirmed at multiple Southern Nevada parks.
“It’s definitely a concern,” regular parkgoer Roland Lewis said.
Lewis is one of many who reacted to the news Thursday. Nevada Department of Wildlife said two Canada geese found dead at Sunset Park tested positive for the disease.
“It is a little bit concerning,” Las Vegan Adriane Beason added. “Since my dog does try to get them.”
Nevada Department of Wildlife and Clark County issued alerts and posted signs around local parks, urging people to stay away from waterfowl and avoid feeding them.
“It’s going to cause me to take a little extra precaution,” Lewis added. “When I’m out here in the future.”
HPAI is dangerous and even deadly to birds, but how worried should people be when it comes to catching it?
“People should not be concerned about contracting Avian flu,” Will Rucker, Director of Health Promotions at the American Lung Association told 8 News Now.
Rucker said while humans can contract the disease, it’s really only a threat for people directly handling animals that are sick.
“Unless you’re working on a farm, working with poultry directly,” Rucker added. “The risk of contracting Avian Flu is very, very low.”
Regardless, he said it’s important to take extra care in settings with birds nearby, to protect yourself and your family.
“Just taking the right precautions,” Beason said. “Not letting my dog run off leash.”
“Bring about a little attention,” Lewis concluded. “So, people can use common sense.”
Dogs can also be infected with HPAI, and humans can pass the virus to them, so experts said it is also imperative to keep your pets away from wild birds at parks.
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