Friday, March 10, 2006

ADFG advises on Avian Flu

With all the speculation about avian flu, how should Alaska waterfowl hunters regard the birds they take next fall? Alaska wildlife division director Matt Robus wrote this in an article in Alaska Wildlife News.

"As we take these precautionary measures it is important to remember that there is no reason to think that HPAI has reached Alaska, and that it is not certain that it will be brought here by wild birds. In addition, we know of no case where a person has become infected with HPAI from a wild bird. Our best advice is that Alaskan hunters should not be overly concerned about avian flu, but should practice common sense precautions while handling and preparing wild birds. Do not use any birds that are obviously sick, wash up after handling birds and clean your tools and work surfaces, use rubber gloves while dressing birds, and cook the meat thoroughly to kill disease and parasite organisms—all practices that should be used whether or not HPAI makes an appearance here."

More detailed information is available in an ADFG fact sheet on Avian Influenza.

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