The NWC is concerned to sort out the facts from the hype when it comes to the Avian Influenza Virus, and its importance to the welfare and health of wildlife rehabilitators.
There are many strains of Avian Influenza viruses. Most of them do not cause disease. The strain that is currently causing widespread disease in Asia and parts of Europe is the H5N1 strain. At this stage there is no indication that H5N1 Bird-Flu is present in Australia, although this could change at any time. In the meanwhile it is important that wildlife carers are fastidious in maintaining their hygiene, especially when dealing with birds. This means using gloves and masks. It especially means washing your hands after dealing with each bird, thoroughly cleaning cages and avoiding dust from bird cages. Observing these normal hygiene practices also helps to protect against a range of problems including Psittacosis.