Bird Flu Detected in New York City Wildlife: Health Officials Issue Caution

Bird flu has been identified in various avian species inhabiting New York City parks and green spaces, prompting concerns among health authorities. Philip Meade, a postdoctoral fellow at Icahn School of Medicine, reports cases of the H5N1 virus in geese, a peregrine falcon, a red-tailed hawk, and a chicken within Marcus Garvey Park in Manhattan.

While only two human cases of H5N1 have been reported in the United States since 2022, health officials advise caution. The recent case in Texas involved close contact with infected dairy cows, while the 2022 case was linked to poultry exposure in Colorado.

Dispelling misconceptions, Meade emphasizes that casual contact with sick birds does not transmit the virus directly to humans. However, precautionary measures such as limiting wildlife interactions are advised.

Although both recent human cases were mild, the CDC assures that there is currently no evidence of human-to-human transmission of bird flu. To report sightings of sick or deceased aquatic birds, raptors, or poultry within the city, residents are urged to contact the appropriate state departments or call 311 for significant bird mortality incidents.

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