Health & Science

Hunters can take precautions

It's unlikely that hunters or people feeding birds could contract avian flu from wild birds, but following these standard precautions reduces the risk of contracting any wildlife disease:

-- Do not handle or eat wild birds that are obviously sick or found dead.

-- Wear rubber gloves while cleaning game or cleaning bird feeders.

-- Do not eat, drink or smoke while cleaning game.

-- Wash hands with soap and water or use alcohol hand wipes immediately after touching game or cleaning bird feeders.

-- Wash tools and work surfaces used to clean game birds with soap and water, then disinfect the area with a 10 percent solution of chlorine bleach.

-- Separate raw meat and anything it touches from cooked or ready-to-eat foods to avoid contamination.

-- Cook game meat thoroughly, to an internal temperature of 155 to 165 degrees.

-- For more information, visit or

-- Source: Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife