Rhode Island Confirms Bird Flu In Gull, Urges Caution
Rhode Island has confirmed a gull found on the shore has tested positive for bird flu.
It goes without saying that any trip to our beaches involves a few seagulls flying around and sometimes invading our space to grab some of our snacks. Here we are just wanting to enjoy a nice day at the beach for the few months we have of amazing beach weather and now we have to worry about bird flu?
According to the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management, cases has been increasing in some East Coast states.
While this type of influenza (Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza) has been pretty much isolated to birds, officials caution that it can easily be transmissible to domestic poultry and other bird and animal species. New England zoos have been preparing for months.
"While risk of HPAI to humans is low, the public is urged not to touch dead birds and to keep dogs on leashes and away from carcasses," DEM said in a news release.
The agency added:
DEM's Division of Fish and Wildlife, which is collecting reports from the public, currently counts 40 dead waterbirds reported this summer, excluding the separate mortality event of Shearwaters that is now thought to be unrelated to HPAI. Wildlife biologists advise, however, that reports coming in from the public tend to be underestimated, especially if there is not a large die-off of birds.
DEM recommends people who keep birds at home should disinfect their shoes before visiting and coming back from beaches and parks.
Dead birds can be reported to the Rhode Island Division of Fish and Wildlife.
Last month, hundreds of dead birds washed up in Martha's Vineyard.
I'd stay away from seagulls altogether. They are a feisty bunch and have literally stolen a sandwich right from my own hand. Don't get me started on bringing chips to the beach.
Someone give me one of those plastic blow-up pools and let me live my best life in my backyard.