Bird flu detected in wild ducks, geese in Seattle and Bellevue

SEATTLE — Initial tests of several wild ducks and geese in King County show they were infected with bird flu, according to Public Health — Seattle & King County.

The birds were found on private property and in public parks in Seattle and Bellevue, Public Health said Wednesday.

Ducks with the bird flu were found on May 22, 2022, at Green Lake Park in Seattle, Bellevue Downtown Park and Volunteer Park in Seattle.

Anyone who may have touched or came within 6 feet of ducks at the parks is asked to call Public Health at 206-296-4774.

While risk to humans is low, people are asked to notify Public Health and their doctor if they develop flu-like symptoms in the 10 days after possible exposure.

Birds infected with the virus may have discharge from the nose and mouth. The discharge may have spots of blood in it.

Public Health said other symptoms include ruffled feathers, blue or swollen combs, wattles or legs, a tilted head, lack of coordination, tiredness, and sudden death.

Health officials are warning people to not approach or touch wild birds, especially if they appear to be sick or are dead. In addition, people should not try to transport or keep wild birds in their homes or yards.

If you find a sick or dead bird, you may report it online at bit.ly/sickwildbirds or call 360-902-2200, press 4, and leave a detailed voicemail. Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife staff may be able to pick up the affected birds.

The virus has been spreading in birds in the U.S. since early 2022.