By CBS Baltimore Staff

BALTIMORE (WJZ) — The virus that causes avian influenza, otherwise known as bird flu, has been detected in ducklings at the Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool in Washington, D.C., the National Park Service said Wednesday.

Bird flu cases have been detected in domestic and wild birds in Maryland and Virginia, but this is the first confirmation of the flu in the nation’s capital, the agency said.

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The deadly, highly pathogenic virus is commonly spread by wild birds through their saliva, mucous and feces, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

While some bird species might not get sick as a result of these naturally occurring viruses, the CDC states, they can cause serious illness and death when it comes to other species.

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To date, there has only been one documented human infection of bird flu in the nation, the NPS said, but to be safe, visitors should avoid handling live or dead birds or coming into contact with their droppings.

 

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CBS Baltimore Staff