AUSTIN (KXAN) – Texas Parks and Wildlife Department officials confirmed Monday that the Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) was detected in domesticated swans in Nueces County.
HPAI spreads easily between wild and domestic birds. TPWD said it is not surprising the illness is circulating in Texas as waterbirds and fowl have started their fall migration.
Since the disease is highly transmittable, the TPWD encourages wildlife rehabilitators to be cautious when handling animals showing clinical signs of the condition. This may also include quarantining animals with signs of influenza to prevent exposure to other animals.
TPWD said this risk of transmission to humans is low, but still, people should use protective measures if coming into contact with a wild animal is unavoidable.
TPWD advised game hunters to consider the following precautions:
- Disposing carcasses properly
- Wearing gloves when processing
- Avoiding consumption or processing of any sick bird
- Cleaning and disinfecting tools between carcasses
- Cooking meat to proper temperatures