Avian flu is spreading in Utah and has been detected in 5 other counties, officials say

10 wild birds in Utah have contracted the disease so far.

(Francisco Kjolseth | The Salt Lake Tribune) Canada geese are seen at the pond of Sugar House Park on Monday, July 19, 2021. Avian flu was recently found in at least 10 birds in Utah, including a Canada goose.

Avian flu has spread to birds in five other Utah counties, the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources said Thursday.

The disease killed an owl in Cache County last month, tests confirmed May 11 at the National Veterinary Services Laboratory in Ames, Iowa.

The virus has now been detected in nine other birds from Utah, Weber, Salt Lake, Tooele and Carbon counties. Birds included Canada geese, great horned owls, hawks, pelicans, turkey vultures and ducks.

Three of the birds were found on the banks of Scofield Reservoir in Carbon County, but the Department of Environmental Quality confirmed that drinking water from the reservoir would not be affected by its treatment. Normal activities on the reservoir are not affected either.

Avian flu can be transmitted to humans in some cases, and one person in Colorado tested positive for the virus after direct contact with poultry in late April. But the risk to the public with this particular strain is low, officials said.

Officials said test results from other dead birds are pending. Individuals should avoid groups of dead waterfowl or shorebirds and call 801-538-4700 to report them to the DWR, who will collect them for testing. Avian flu is spreading in Utah and has been detected in 5 other counties, officials say

Joel McCord

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