Ducklings in the Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool have contracted a highly contagious virus that can be deadly to some birds.
The highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) virus affecting wild and domestic birds in the U.S. poses “a low risk to the public” and has infected only one person, the National Park Service said in a statement.
This is the first case of HPAI in D.C., although the virus also has been confirmed among birds in Delaware, Maryland and Virginia.
HPAI can be deadly to some species, such as bald eagles and vultures, the park service said.
Wild birds in 14 states and commercial poultry in 13 states have been infected with the virus, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The virus spreads through birds’ respiratory systems and feces. The park service recommends cleaning shoes and keeping dogs from interacting with birds to prevent HPAI’s spread.
It also encourages visitors to report dead birds to park service staff.