The Washington State Department of Agriculture (WSDA) has activated a multi-agency response plan following the confirmation of highly pathogenic H5 avian influenza in domestic birds in the Agnew area of Clallam County.
WSDA will work closely with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal Plant Health Inspection Service (USDA-APHIS) in this response. They are working on setting up a quarantine area that will extend 10 km around the site of the infection.
For more information go to agr.wa.gov/FoodAnimal/AvianHealth/
Backyard bird owners and commercial producers are urged to monitor their flock closely and report sick or dead birds to the WSDA Avian Health Program at 800-606-3056 or to the USDA at 866-536-7593.
What are the signs of avian influenza (AI)?
The clinical signs of birds affected with all forms of AI may show one or more of the following: Sudden death without clinical signs; Lack of energy and appetite; Decreased egg production; Soft-shelled or misshapen eggs; Swelling of the head, eyelids, comb, wattles, and hocks; Purple discoloration of the wattles, combs, and legs; Nasal discharge; Coughing, sneezing; Lack of coordination; and Diarrhea.
For more on AI, see the USDA website for pictures of affected birds and more on the disease.
WSDA is advising commercial poultry growers and backyard flock owners to be vigilant with biosecurity measures and surveillance. Simple things to remember about disease prevention (from USDA) are:
• Keep your distance: Isolate your birds from visitors and other birds.
• Keep it clean: Prevent germs from spreading by cleaning shoes, tools and equipment.
• Don't haul disease home: Clean vehicles and cages.
• Don't borrow disease from your neighbor: Avoid sharing tools and equipment with neighbors.
• Know the signs: Watch for early signs of infection to prevent the spread of disease.
• Report sick birds: Report unusual signs of disease or unexpected deaths.
• Make biosecurity a part of your daily routine while caring for your birds
There is no immediate public health concern due to the avian influenza virus detected. Avian influenza does not affect poultry meat or egg products, which remain safe to eat. As always, both wild and domestic poultry should be properly cooked.