Thursday, May 23, 2024
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Avian Flu Alert for Lake Eola Park in Orlando

An avian flu alert has been issued by the City of Orlando for Lake Eola Park after several bird deaths were found to be positive for Avian Influenza. This virus naturally spreads among wild aquatic birds, worldwide, including swans.




The City of Orlando recently became aware of some bird deaths at Lake Eola Park and after an investigation, the birds were found to be positive for Avian Influenza. Over the last few weeks, city staff discovered the deaths of several different birds at Lake Eola Park. Following these discoveries, staff took immediate action and consulted with local veterinarian experts. It was recommended to send two of the swans, a Royal Mute swan and an Australian Black swan, that were found deceased out for necropsies.

avian flu Lake Eola Results received found the swans tested positive for Avian Influenza.

Two more swans were also found deceased, both Black-necked swans.  The city was concerned of potential criminal activity related to one of the swans and immediately contacted the Orlando Police Department, who opened an investigation. The city also sent these two swans out for necropsies, and are awaiting those results.

The city is taking all necessary precautions as recommended by Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC), as well as local veterinarians, to keep the local community safe and limit the spread of Avian Influenza. In an abundance of caution, the city has proactively disinfected multiple surfaces throughout the park and will continue to do so during this time. The city has also advised its staff to take further precautions, such as washing shoes, uniforms and equipment, like bike tires.

As outlined by the CDC, Avian Influenza can be transmitted to humans, although it is extremely rare with only one case reported in the U.S. since 2022.  It is recommended the community take the following measures to protect themselves from avian flu at Lake Eola:

  • Avoid direct contact with the birds at Lake Eola Park and only observe them from a distance. This goes for both people and pets at the park.
  • Additionally, park goers should avoid contact with any excrement from birds.
  • It’s recommended that people remove their shoes when entering one’s home and cleaning them off if contamination is suspected.

The City of Orlando will continue to follow the recommendations of FWC. Based on the size of the park and the bird population, they recommend allowing the Avian Influenza to run its course as some birds may build immunity and estimated a month of dissipation of infections.

Remember, Lake Eola swans are wild animals and should never be handled or touched by members of the public. Per the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, they recommend allowing the Avian Influenza to run its course as some birds may build immunity and estimated a month of dissipation of infections.

The city will continue to actively track, monitor and report any new infections to FWC and remain vigilant in our efforts related to disinfecting the park.



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