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Washington State News

Second Case of Bird Flu Confirmed in Yakima County

OLYMPIA – A backyard flock in Yakima County tested positive for highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) on June 7. A second Yakima case was confirmed June 10. This detection makes the tenth county to have confirmed domestic flocks with bird flu, with a total of 19 infected flocks statewide. All infected flocks have had contact with wild waterfowl, which are known to transmit the virus without necessarily being affected by it. 

Since HPAI was first detected in Washington a month ago, the Washington State Department of Agriculture (WSDA) has been responding to the outbreak and urging flock owners to devote all efforts to protecting uninfected flocks, especially keeping domestic flocks isolated from wild waterfowl.

“The virus continues to be present in all corners of our state,” State Veterinarian Dr. Amber Itle added. “It’s so important we remain vigilant.”

WSDA has numerous resources for flock owners to learn about bird flu and protect their flocks, including a bird flu webpage with information about each confirmed flock with HPAI, an interactive map, frequently asked questions, as well as and a Facebook group dedicated to updates about bird flu in Washington. WSDA also has avian influenza videos on its YouTube channel.

Flock owners near confirmed detection sites may be contacted by WSDA or USDA officials to monitor the health of their flocks. Response teams monitor the area surrounding a detection for at least two weeks to ensure no other neighboring flock is infected.

If your flock experiences sudden death or illness of multiple birds, call WSDA’s Sick Bird Hotline at 1-800-606-3056. Birds that have already died should be double-bagged and kept in a cooler on ice until WSDA veterinarians can arrange for sampling. Do not allow scavenger birds access to dead domestic birds as this can further spread the virus.

Dr. Itle has also cautioned bird owners to withdraw from exhibitions or fairs until at least the end of June and has requested that live bird markets discontinue sales temporarily.

Sick or dead wild birds should be reported using the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife’s online reporting tool.