Animal to Human Diseases

  1. Avian Flu

What is Avian Flu?

Avian flu refers to disease in birds caused by infection with avian influenza Type A viruses. These viruses occur naturally among wild aquatic birds worldwide and can infect domestic poultry and other bird species. Highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) viruses can spread very quickly and can cause severe disease and death in infected birds.

Please submit this online form to report a deceased bird on public property within the City and County of Broomfield.


Current Avian Flu Outbreaks

Wild Birds

In Mar. 2022, a new strain of HPAI was identified in wild Colorado birds. This particular strain is causing widespread mortality in some species of wild birds, particularly in Snow and Canadian geese, raptors, and vultures. Broomfield has seen an increase in wild bird deaths, likely due to avian flu.

Domestic Birds

Domestic birds (poultry) across Colorado continue to be impacted by avian flu, which can be deadly. If you own a domestic flock, continue to keep your birds away from wild birds. Learn more about how to protect your domestic flock below. 

Keep up with the latest information through the frequently updated Colorado Parks and Wildlife web page and the Colorado Department of Agriculture web page on avian flu.

What are the Risks to Humans?

Although avian flu mainly affects wild birds and poultry, there have been rare cases in humans. Human infections are most likely to happen in people directly exposed to infected birds or contaminated environments. People should never touch wild birds and observe them only from a distance; do not touch wild and domestic birds that appear ill or have died; and avoid contact with droppings from wild or domestic birds.

Avian flu virus infection in people cannot be diagnosed by clinical signs and symptoms alone; laboratory testing is needed. Individuals are advised to monitor themselves for any signs of flu-like symptoms within a week of handling birds. Anyone who feels ill should visit their health care provider. Learn more about avian flu in humans on the Center for Disease Control web page.

What Actions Should I Take?

Wild Birds

  • Please submit this online form to report a deceased bird on public property within the City and County of Broomfield.
  • If a bird is sick or injured, please call police non-emergency dispatch at 303-438-6400 so that an animal services officer can be dispatched out to assist.
  • Do not touch dead or diseased wild birds. 
  • Do not let your pets near dead or diseased wild birds or their droppings. 
  • Always keep your dogs on a leash. 
  • If a wild bird dies on your property, you may wear a mask and gloves to pick up a carcass, immediately double bag it, and place the bags in municipal trash. Discard gloves and mask and wash your hands immediately afterwards.

Hunters

Waterfowl hunters should take steps to minimize the risk of spreading the virus. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has recommendations for hunters to protect themselves from avian flu

Domestic Birds

People with domestic flocks, including backyard poultry, should take precautions during this time:

  • Increase Biosecurity: Learn more about how to secure your flock at USDA’s Defend the Flock web page.
  • Monitor Flocks: Monitor for feed and water consumption, signs of HPAI, or other changes in bird behavior.
  • Report Disease: Report suspicious disease events in your commercial or backyard flocks to the State Veterinarian's office at 303-869-9130.

Mental Health and HPAI

Bird owners struggling with stress or anxiety around HPAI can contact Colorado Crisis Services by calling 1-844-494-TALK (8255) or texting TALK to 38255. Farmers and ranchers can receive a voucher for six free sessions with an ag-competent provider through the Colorado Agricultural Addiction and Mental Health Program at campforhealth.com.

Additional Resources

  1. Hantavirus
  1. Plague
  1. Rabies
  1. Tularemia
  1. West Nile Virus