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DNR warns Michigan hunters of rising avian flu cases

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Waterfowl season begins next week in Michigan, and state wildlife officials are urging hunters to watch for signs of avian flu in game birds

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources says it’s seeing a recent uptick in the number of wild birds infected by highly pathogenic avian influenza. Ducks are most commonly prone to the virus, but it can also affect geese, swans and other shorebirds.

The risk of transmission to humans is low. But, State Wildlife Veterinarian Megan Moriarty says it’s important to practice good biosecurity, which means keeping some distance between wild and domestic birds.

“And thoroughly disinfecting equipment that you either use to hunt waterfowl in the field, or equipment that you use to clean up after your domestic poultry or your pet birds.”

Moriarty adds waterfowl should be cooked to at least 165 degrees Fahrenheit before being consumed to minimize the risk of transmission.

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