North Carolina Zoo closes aviary habitat after report of avian flu. Here's what you should know

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Birds such as the Nicobar Pigeon in the aviary habitat of the North Carolina Zoo have been tested for symptoms of avian flu after reports in the state.
Birds such as the Nicobar Pigeon in the aviary habitat of the North Carolina Zoo have been tested for symptoms of avian flu after reports in the state.

The North Carolina Zoo is closing its aviary habitat to the public due to recent confirmed cases of avian flu in wild birds found in the state, according to officials.

A recent news release said the zoo will work with the North Carolina Department of Agriculture and the USDA to determine when it is safe to reopen the habitat. Tests will be given to birds that show any clinical signs of illness such as sneezing, coughing, lack of energy and poor appetite.

For birds, avian flu is a highly contagious viral disease that can affect several species of birds, including domestic poultry and wild birds. This disease, if spread, could have devastating effects on poultry farms and birds living in zoos and wildlife centers.

Zoo representatives said this week none of the birds are showing symptoms of the flu. The zoo has further increased biosecurity for its staff such as restricting only certain teams to work with the birds.

Petruce Jean-Charles is a Government Watchdog Reporter. They are interested in what's going on in the community and are open to tips on people, businesses and issues. Contact Petruce at pjeancharles@gannett.com and follow @PetruceKetsia on Twitter.

This article originally appeared on The Courier-Tribune: North Carolina Zoo closed aviary habitat after reports of avian flu

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