Chicken For whatever reasons you want to blame, bird flu is back, and it’s getting worse quickly.

Although bird flu has been around (or at least documented) for two decades, the newest incarnation—H5N8—can infect more types of birds, including wild birds with long migration patterns, which has allowed it to quickly spread the world over. The spread of bird flu has lead to the culling of sick flocks around the world and allowed bird flu to mix and mutate with other flu strains.

While H5N8 has yet to spread among humans, its continued evolution and contact with other strains makes that possibility increasingly likely.

The last round of bird flu which went through the US was stamped out through culls and a watchful eye on wild birds. The new strain appears more virulent, and, despite past success, calls for a closer watch on birds. Last time, the first appearance was on North America’s west coast, a popular spot for backyard flocks and free-range birds.

Watch for wild birds that act “drunk”, stumbling, not flying or flying incorrectly, alone or acting out other unusual behavior. Report unusual birds to your local wildlife authorities. Not all birds show symptoms, so be prepared to bring flocks indoors if reports of bird flu start up.

To make sure you aren’t patient zero when it comes to bird flu, the biggest tip out there sounds a little silly: don’t hug and kiss birds. While bird lovers may like to give their pets a nuzzle, close contact like that is one way to spread bird flu to humans when it isn’t otherwise contagious, and has lead to a few hospitalizations over the last few years.

You can also watch for recalls, and follow food-safe practices in the kitchen. And a little bit of immune support always helps, so make sure you get enough sleep, eat a healthy diet, and get some back-up from colloidal silver.

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