What goes around comes around. I know it’s a hackneyed adage but it turns out to be true, especially when it comes to illnesses and viruses.

The overwhelming majority of illnesses that we face in NJ have been around before and then return with a repeat outbreak or perhaps a different strain of an old one.

So I’m sure we have all been expecting another weird disease outbreak to come along, but not necessarily this one.

An outbreak of avian influenza strain H5N1 has been spreading among wild birds. In Cape May, about two dozen mallard ducks were found to have it over the winter.

This is unfortunate for bird lovers, as experts are urging those who own bird feeders and other devices for bird "play" to put them away until further notice.

While the risk of humans getting the bird flu is pretty low, now is not the time to allow another virus to circle around the U.S.

Birds can pass on the virus to other birds, as they travel from one bird feeder to the next, carrying the potential illness.

Photo by Abeer Zaki on Unsplash
Photo by Abeer Zaki on Unsplash

According to the CDC, over 28 million cases of the bird flu have been detected among poultry since April. If this continues, even consuming different poultry products could potentially pose a greater risk.

If you are interested in birds but aren’t willing to take the risk of getting sick, there are many places to admire birds here in the state.

Who knew that bird watching was so popular in NJ? One of the most well-known sanctuaries is called The Cora Hartshorn Arboretum in Millburn.

The center doubles as a nonprofit, and is a great place to donate if you are looking to help birds find better and safer places to fly around.

There are several other observatories in Hackensack and Cape May that you can check out on a nice day.

So admire them from afar, but stay away. And, keep your bird feeders out away until we hear that bird flu is beginning to dissipate.

Opinions expressed in the post above are those of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Judi Franco only.

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