© 2022 KLCC

KLCC
136 W 8th Ave
Eugene OR 97401
541-463-6000
klcc@klcc.org

Contact Us

FCC Applications
Oregon's Willamette Valley seen from Eugene
NPR for Oregonians
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations

Bird flu confirmed in Oregon, Washington

In this Oct. 21, 2015, file photo, cage-free chickens walk in a fenced pasture at an organic farm near Waukon, Iowa. The confirmation of bird flu at another Iowa egg-laying farm will force the killing of more than 5 million chickens, officials said Friday, March 18, 2022. Spread of the disease is largely blamed on the droppings or nasal discharge of infected wild birds, such as ducks and geese, which can contaminate dust and soil.
Charlie Neibergall
/
In this Oct. 21, 2015, file photo, cage-free chickens walk in a fenced pasture at an organic farm near Waukon, Iowa. The confirmation of bird flu at another Iowa egg-laying farm will force the killing of more than 5 million chickens, officials said Friday, March 18, 2022. Spread of the disease is largely blamed on the droppings or nasal discharge of infected wild birds, such as ducks and geese, which can contaminate dust and soil.

An avian flu that’s spreading quickly across the U.S. has been detected in Oregon and Washington. Authorities said the discovery in Linn County, Oregon, involved at least three geese in a backyard flock in a rural area.

Oregon state veterinarian Ryan Sholz said a person responsible for the geese acted quickly by contacting Oregon State University.

“This case started over the last weekend, she lost three geese that exhibited neurologic and respiratory signs and then died suddenly,” Scholz said. “So she called us with that. And we received results back from OSU that there was avian influenza virus.”

The presence of the highly contagious virus in Linn County, about 110 miles southeast of Portland, was confirmed Friday by federal officials after state officials conducted preliminary testing, the Oregon Department of Agriculture said in a statement.

Washington officials confirmed avian flu in Pacific County, in a remote part of the state’s southern coast among a backyard population of chickens.

The discovery of the avian flu in the Pacific Northwest wasn’t unexpected, as the virus has been spreading rapidly across the country in both domestic and wild birds. An infected bald eagle was found in British Columbia, Canada, in early March, said Scholz.

“Since that detection, we have been hard at work communicating with our commercial poultry producers, veterinarians and the public on how they can protect their flocks," he said. "Now more than ever, all bird owners must practice good biosecurity, prevent contact between their birds and wild birds and report sick birds or unusual deaths so ODA can ensure testing.”

Officials in the two states have taken protective measures, including euthanizing up to 150 birds in Oregon and Washington. They’re advising people with backyard chickens, geese or other birds to bring their birds inside as much as possible, and to avoid cross-species contact.

There are no detections of the avian flu in commercial poultry in Oregon or Washington, state agriculture officials said Friday.

Rob Manning has been both a reporter and an on-air host at Oregon Public Broadcasting. Before that, he filled both roles with local community station KBOO and nationally with Free Speech Radio News. He's also published freelance print stories with Portland's alternative weekly newspaper Willamette Week and Planning Magazine. In 2007, Rob received two awards for investigative reporting from the Associated Press and Society of Professional Journalists, and he was part of the award-winning team responsible for OPB's "Hunger Series." His current beats range from education to the environment, sports to land-use planning, politics to housing.