DENVER — The Denver Department of Public Health and Environment (DDPHE) reminded the public on Wednesday to not touch dead birds in public parks.
With the highly pathogenic avian influenza impacting birds in the area, DDPHE and Denver Parks and Recreation (DPR) asked that people report dead birds and wildlife in city parks to 311.
DDPHE and Denver Parks have received an increase in calls about dead waterfowl, mostly geese, in some city parks, according to DDPHE.
If a dead bird is found on private property, the property owner can dispose of the bird but is encouraged to avoid direct contact with the remains. DDPHE said anyone disposing of remains should wear disposable gloves, bag the remains carefully, put them in an appropriate outdoor (preferably covered) trash receptacle and call 311 to report it.
Anyone who is not comfortable with disposing of a dead bird can call 311 to have it removed.
If you come across a bird that appears sick, stay away from it and keep pets away as well, DDPHE said. Signs of sickness include tremors or lack of coordination, swelling around the head, neck and eyes, lack of energy or movement, coughing, gasping for air, sneezing or diarrhea.
Transmission between infected birds and humans is rare but can occur, according to DDPHE. Human infections happen when the virus gets into the eyes, nose, mouth or is inhaled, DDPHE said.
Infection to pets is also low, but avian flu can infect mammals that eat infected birds or poultry, DDPHE said. If pets are exposed to sick or dead birds, watch for signs of disease and report the illness to a veterinarian.
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