Bird flu outbreak suspected in Michigan community bordering Wisconsin

MENOMINEE, MI – Police here are warning residents of a possible bird flu outbreak in the area.

“We have received multiple reports from within the city and surrounding areas of sick, dying or dead birds,” read a statement this week on the Menominee Police Department’s Facebook page. “Please stay away from sick, dying or dead birds. Do not try to help or comfort them. Keep your children and pets away from them as well.

The police department in the Facebook post also said the state Department of Natural Resources collected birds from the community to test for avian influenza, also known as “bird flu.”

Although the risk to humans is low, highly pathogenic avian influenza is deadly to poultry and spreads rapidly between birds. Millions of chickens and turkeys in the United States have been killed as authorities try to slow the virus.

The number of bird flu cases in Michigan has increased enough that DNR officials in the state now maintain a webpage to track cases.

The list of animals affected by the outbreak includes wild mammals. Three kit foxes died of the disease earlier this year, officials said.

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