Bird flu detected in geese in Lackawanna County

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The PA Game Commission reports more than 30 Canada geese tested for a contagious strain of bird flu and are urging people to be on the lookout for more.

LACKAWANNA COUNTY, Pa. — There aren’t many signs of geese at the Griffin Reservoir near Clarks Summit.

This, after the Pennsylvania Game Commission, reported more than 30 Canada geese were found sick or dead recently at the reservoir in Lackawanna County, infected with Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza, or HPAI.

The state has been keeping tabs on this strain of bird flu since the spring in Southeastern Pa.

Now, seeing the virus spread statewide, some people who live in the area are concerned.

“It is certainly scary and troubling because you don’t know necessarily where those birds are, and it’s like that it travels as it travels. So it’s kind of troubling,” said Gary Davis.

“It kind of makes me a little worried especially having young children, you know, around the area. So maybe there’s something going around that we don’t know or that we should look further into,” said Alicia Duszak.

This strain of the bird flu mainly spreads by migratory birds, like geese. The disease is especially dangerous to domestic poultry like chickens and ducks and could be detrimental to people who raise those birds.

“We’re local and try to support local farms and everything like that. It’s definitely concerning because you don’t know where it’s coming from or how far it can spread,” said Patrick Flynn.

Hunters should properly handle the wild birds they harvest, not only to protect themselves but help reduce the risk that this disease spreads to other birds.

This strain of bird flu affects humans. Only one case has been reported in the US since the first detection of the virus, and the game commission urges: only keep healthy-looking birds if you plan on eating them.

“When you’re eating these animals that potentially were contaminated with this flu, you know what it could do to our health,” said Jessica Quinn.

For information on how to report a dead or sick bird and more tips to prevent the spread of this bird flu, visit the PA Game Commission’s website here.

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