As New Jersey contends with a few cases of the avian flu breaking out across the state, officials were advising local residents to avoid a lake where cases were found.
Point Pleasant Beach Mayor Paul Kanitra said via social media on Monday that cases were found at Lake of the Lilies, a freshwater lake located just a block from the Atlantic Ocean in the southern portion of the borough.
“We have confirmed cases of bird flu at Lake of the Lilies,” Kanitra said. “While the risk of human transmission is low, please stay away from the area for the time being until it has run its course amongst the swans and geese there.”
The news of the cases at the lake follows an announcement last week by the state Department of Environmental Protection that a “backyard flock” of birds located in Ocean County had been identified as having cases of avian flu – often known as the “bird flu” – which resulted in the deaths of some birds. The exact location of the cases were not divulged by authorities.
Avian influenza, according to the CDC, is related to several other influenza variants, but has been highly adapted to bird populations. It can be passed to humans, though transmission is generally preceded by physically handling dead birds or being in contact with their fluids. It was first reported in humans in Hong Kong in 1997, but came to prominence in the United States in 2014, when 51 million birds used for poultry farming had to be culled to prevent the spread.
Recent cases in New Jersey include another “backyard” outbreak in Warren County and, in the spring, a similar outbreak in Monmouth County.