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Handling a Dead Bird

Topic Overview

If you find a dead bird, you should leave it alone or take the following steps to throw it away. If you have to move a dead bird:

  1. Do not touch the bird with your bare hands.
  2. If possible, wear plastic, rubber, or latex gloves that you can throw away after you pick up or handle the bird. If you can't wear gloves that you can throw away, see step 6.
  3. Place the dead bird in a plastic bag that does not leak. Be careful not to touch the outside of the bag with the bird.
  4. Tie the plastic bag, and then place it in a second bag.
  5. Take off your gloves by turning them inside out, and then place each glove in the second bag. Tie the bag and throw it away in a garbage can.
  6. If you do not have gloves that can be thrown away, you can use a plastic bag as a glove. After you pick up the dead bird, turn the bag back on itself and tie it. Then place it in a second bag, tie the bag, and throw it away in a garbage can.
  7. If you can't place the dead bird in plastic bags and throw it away, you can bury it. Do not bury it in a plastic bag.
  8. Wash any clothing that has touched the dead bird. Use ordinary laundry soap at the temperature you would normally use to wash clothes.
  9. Clean any indoor surfaces that have been touched by the dead bird. Use normal household cleaner.
  10. Wash your hands well with soap and warm water.

Credits

By Healthwise Staff
Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine
W. David Colby IV, MSc, MD, FRCPC - Infectious Disease
Last Revised July 10, 2012

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