With Fall hunting seasons opening up, Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks wants to remind bird hunters to be very aware of the highly pathogenic avian influenza virus that had been detected earlier this year in wild birds and some domesticated poultry flocks here in Montana.

FWP continues to watch for sick birds as they are extremely infectious and HPAI viruses are fatal to poultry and some species of wild birds. They say although it appears to be a decline in cases of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) virus in wild birds over the summer, there have been detections of new cases in the U.S including Montana this fall.

It's Bad News for Birds, But Can You Catch It?

The watchful Centers for Disease Control (CDC) continues to consider the risk to you from wild birds to be low, but increases as your exposures do. Bird hunters should always wear disposable latex or rubber gloves when processing or handling wild game, and do not eat, drink or smoke while cleaning game. Keep it clean is the name of the game. Wipe everything down with soapy water or alcohol swabs afterward.

They Mean Clean Everything

Once you get your game home that virus can be transferred anywhere, so remember to wash tools and work surfaces used to prepare game birds with soap and water, then disinfect with a 10 percent solution of chlorine bleach—one part chlorine bleach to 10 parts water.

Find more information about Avian Flu from the FWP or the USGS surveillance studies webpage.

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