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Bird Flu Confirmed in Dead Silver Lake Park Goose-West Central Tribune

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ROCHESTER — Bird flu has been confirmed at

Found some dead geese

At Silver Lake Park.

According to Rochester Parks and Rec director Paul Widman, the first six bird carcasses reported on April 24 were positive for bird flu.

The case was first reported in Olmsted County.

A few days after the initial discovery, three other dead geese were found in the park, but have not been reported in other city parks or parts of the city.

“DNR has no plans to do any further testing because of the confirmed bird flu,” Widman said.

Bird flu was found in 47 wild birds out of 87 counties in Minnesota. Southeastern Minnesota, including the counties of Fillmore, Goodhue, Houston, and Wabasha.

Bird flu map.JPG

The map shows Minnesota County with confirmed cases of bird flu in wildlife and poultry.

Minnesota Natural Resources Bureau

Combined with domestic bird reports from commercial poultry farms to backyard enthusiasts, including sites in Dodge and Mower counties, the disease was found in 60 counties throughout the state.

According to Widman, Rochester Park staff are already working under the assumption that the dead geese found at Silver Lake died of bird flu.

The Minnesota Animal Health Commission reports that the first strain of current bird flu was found in the state on March 25, and the virus has not been found to cause human illness in the state.

However, if a sufficient amount of virus invades or inhales a person’s eyes, nose, or mouth, the disease can spread.

Guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to prevent exposure to bird flu includes:

  • Avoid direct contact with wild birds and observe only from a distance.
  • Avoid contact with poultry that appear sick or die.
  • Avoid contact with surfaces that appear to be contaminated with wild bird and poultry droppings.
  • If you need to handle wild birds, sick or dead poultry, wear gloves and wash your hands with soap and water.
  • Wear respiratory protective equipment such as a medical face mask when handling birds.
  • Change clothes before coming into contact with healthy poultry and birds.

According to Widman, anyone who finds a goose in a city park in Rochester will be asked to contact the Parks Andrek Department (507-328-2900) to get rid of the birds as soon as possible.
Anyone who finds a suspicious dead waterfowl or a group of five or more dead wild birds throughout the state should report to the Minnesota Natural Resources Department at 888-646-6367.

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