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Bird flu found in Kanawha County, state says 

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Bird flu found in Kanawha County, state says 

Feb 21, 2024 | 1:32 pm ET
By West Virginia Watch Staff
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Bird flu found in Kanawha County, state says聽
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The West Virginia Department of Health confirmed a case of avian influenza in a backyard flock of birds in Kanawha County on Wednesday, Feb. 21, 2024. (Getty Images)

A case of avian flu, H5N1, has been confirmed in a backyard flock of birds in Kanawha County, the state Department of Health said in a news release Wednesday. It’s the state’s first case of the highly pathogenic virus in backyard flocks or commercial birds since 2006.

The Department of Health and the Department of Agriculture are monitoring the people exposed to the virus to prevent transmission, the news release said. 

The health department says the public health risk is limited to those who had direct contact with the birds. The virus does not spread easily to humans. Avian influenza does not affect poultry, meat or egg products, which remain safe to eat, the health department says. 

“This virus has been previously identified in surrounding states, it is important to note that the risk of transmission to humans is very low and limited to those with direct contact with the birds,” West Virginia State Health Officer Dr. Matthew Christiansen said in the release. “If you have concerns about your exposure or symptoms, you should isolate at home and contact your primary care doctor and local health department.”