SKAGIT COUNTY, Wash. - A case of bird flu has been confirmed in Skagit County, said the Washington State Department of Health.
In a news release, the department said a red-tailed hawk was collected on May 11 and it had tested positive for HPAI H5N1, a strain of avian influenza or bird flu.
"We can assume that avian influenza is actively circulating in Skagit County, similar to much of Washington state," officials said Tuesday.
Health officials are warning that avian influenza viruses are contagious among certain domesticated bird species, and can sicken and kill chickens, pheasants, and turkeys and other domestic fowl. The virus is often spread to domestic birds through interactions with wild birds.
The public are advised to avoid contact with wild birds, especially sick or dead wild birds
People can report sick or dead birds to the Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife here. People can also contact Washington State Department of Agriculture's Avian Health Program by calling 1-800-606-3056.
Health officials said infections among people are rare but human infections can happen if the virus gets into an individual’s eyes, nose, or mouth or is inhaled.