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Avian flu spreading among both wild and domestic birds in Michigan

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At least two outbreaks of avian flu have been reported among domestic birds in southeast Michigan in April.

Following the latest reported outbreaks of the highly pathogenic avian flu, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources is advising people not to handle sick or dead wild birds.

On Monday, the state confirmed cases of the disease in some domestic parrots found dead in a Washtenaw County home.

Last week, officials verified infections in a backyard poultry flock in neighboring Livingston County.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says the transmission risk to humans is low.

Still, wildlife veterinary specialist Dr. Megan Moriarty with the DNR says people living near outbreak sites may want to take precautions.

“For example, taking down your bird feeder or cleaning your bird feeder would be something that people could do out of an abundance of caution,” Moriarty said.

She adds people can report potential cases without getting too close.

“We do appreciate people calling or emailing to notify us of those observations, but we ask that people please do not handle any wild birds at this time and just observe them from a distance,” she said.

Moriarty says there have been no such reported cases in people in Michigan.

The number to report suspected avian flu in Michigan is 517-336-5030.

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