Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza Returns to Wyoming

Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) has returned to the state of Wyoming. This virus is fatal to birds and there is no cure. In humans, however, symptoms are similar to traditional flu. The virus is spread in a similar fashion to COVID-19 except for one additional mode of transmission through surface contact.

In an effort to keep both birds and people safe, Teton Raptor Center is equipped and prepared to continue to admit new injured birds into our wildlife rehabilitation clinic. Through the use of a quarantine zone, TRC can provide safe treatment with staff in full PPE to administer care for birds.

Unfortunately, the first case of HPAI this fall has been documented in Teton County. A Great Horned Owl, admitted to Teton Raptor Center on September 16th and showing signs of HPAI, was confirmed positive for the disease by the Wyoming Game and Fish Department’s Wildlife Health Laboratory last week.

The return of HPAI during the fall migration period was anticipated, as birds are traveling and in contact with other avian species at this transitional time. Symptoms of birds with HPAI include lethargy, head spinning, circling movements of the body and an overall lack of awareness of their surroundings.

If you suspect a bird in your area of having contracted HPAI, please call your state wildlife agency or a local wildlife rehabilitation center. For those who live locally, Teton Raptor Center’s injured/ill bird hotline can be called to report cases at 307-203-2551 ext. 1.

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