A Recent Series of Avian Influenza Outbreaks Require Proper PPE

A Recent Series of Avian Influenza Outbreaks Require Proper PPE

Believe it or not, we check mentions of shoe covers in the news with regularity. And recently, there have been a number of mentions of the importance of shoe covers related to a series of outbreaks of ‘bird flu’ or avian influenza in the United States. 

A recent outbreak of avian influenza recently prompted measures for staff at a bird rescue facility in northern California to don full PPE, including shoe covers to protect birds that were already infected and try to keep contamination to a minimum to stop the spread. While this strain of Avian Influenza poses little threat to humans, it can be quite lethal to many species of birds. It was discovered in a group of wild geese. Bird enthusiasts and animal rescues have had to take note of the precautions. Learn more about the outbreak and the precautions they are taking in this article. 

A Pennsylvania initiative is trying to help poultry farmers also affected by the recent outbreaks. At a recent press conference to announce the initiative those in attendance had to don white shoe covers and have their cars disinfected to stave off avian flu spread. It’s spread largely through an infected bird’s feces, so preventing transmission and contamination are vitally important. 

Other outbreaks have been tracked in most states, according to the USDA. Recent data shows that this particular strain (H5N1) has been detected in more than 1800 wild birds in 42 states and the District of Columbia in 2022. 

Some tips if you happen to own birds, particularly backyard poultry or captive birds like ducks, geese, pigeons, doves, and parrots, courtesy of the California Department of Fish and Wildlife: 

  • Refrain from feeding or providing water to wild birds. High concentrations of wild birds at feeders or bird baths can lead to fecal contamination, which leads to disease transmission.
  • Wild birds should not be allowed to enter enclosures for domestic and pet birds. 
  • Food and water should not be shared between wild birds and domestic or pet birds. 
  • Consider investing in shoe covers to ensure as little contamination as possible.

If you have pet, domestic, or captive birds, we encourage you to protect them during this particular outbreak. Again, there’s little danger for human transmission, but you want to do everything you can to make sure the proper authorities are able to contain the spread as much as possible. Learn more about our shoe cover solutions at our website. 

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