BUTTE COUNTY, CALIF. – Following the first highly pathogenic avian influenza outbreak in California, officials in Butte County recently announced a local health emergency after it was confirmed a domestic flock had the virus.

With the declaration, county officials said they would allow carcasses to be buried at a local recycling and waste facility.

“Identification of avian flu indicates that the virus is present in Butte County – however, the risk to the general public is exceedingly low,” said David Canto, health officer for Butte County Public Health. “Declaring the health emergency allows for disposal of the bird carcasses in a manner that minimizes any remaining risk of spread to other birds and to humans.”

A Facebook post by Bill Connelly, Butte County supervisor, quoting Public Health Director Danette York stated that HPAI was identified in 1,500 birds. 

County officials said they are working with the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) to respond to the outbreak.