ORLANDO, Fla. — Over the last two weeks, workers with the city of Orlando have found several dead birds near Lake Eola.

Just this week, officials found two dead swans that tested positive for avian influenza, also known as bird flu.

What You Need To Know

  • Officials with the city of Orlando recently found a pair of dead swans at Lake Eola that tested positive for avian influenza, also known as bird flu

  • They say that due to the discovery, it’s important for visitors to take precautions while at Lake Eola

  • Experts say that the avian influenza is fatal for most birds that catch it

The city is now placing signage throughout Lake Eola, temporarily removed food from bird feeders and reached out to residents and business owners to let them know to let them know to take precautions while visiting Lake Eola.

Samantha Little, a raptor conservation specialist at Audubon Center for Birds of Prey, said like the seasonality with the flu virus that humans catch, the bird variety of influenza has some seasonality to it too.

She said that some years are worse than others.

“It has been around in Florida since last year, so we’ve been dealing with it with some of our patients,” said Little. “In general, it’s always something that were concerned of, because it is something that causes high mortality so birds die from it.”

She said not many birds survive after contracting the bird flu.

“We have had a few that have pulled through,” said Little. “It’s whether or not they can walk and stand and maneuver to be able to be released once they recover.”

To limit the spread of the illness, the city of Orlando has disinfected multiple surfaces around Lake Eola and will continue to do so. The city has also advised its staff to wash their shoes, uniforms and equipment.

Little also recommended precautions for private citizens who have birds on their property.

“If you have chickens at home or if you have birds, make sure you have different shoes that you’re keeping at home versus those that you’re going out and walking with,” she said.

In a statement to Spectrum News, the city of Orlando said, in part: “A top priority of the city is the safety and well-being of our residents, staff and the preservation of local wildlife. As outlined by the CDC, avian influenza can be transmitted to humans, although it is extremely rare with only one case reported in the U.S., since 2022.”

The city's statement also said that based on the size of the park and the bird population, experts believe the avian influenza will run its course as some birds may build immunity, and estimate it will be a month before infections dissipate.

Park goers are advised to avoid direct contact with birds and bird excrement at Lake Eola Park — a recommendation that applies to pets, as well.