Bird flu confirmed in Oregon, Washington
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.