Two other Deschutes County flocks of 70-80 birds confirmed with avian flu, euthanized; six local cases in total
(Update: added video, comments from Bend’s vet)
Preventing contact between wildlife and domestic birds stops the spread of bird flu
SALEM, Ore. (KTVZ) — With two new cases discovered in Deschutes County resulting in the euthanasia of nearly 150 birds, highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) continues to spread through the region and the state.
On July 22, the United States Department of Agriculture Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (USDA APHIS) confirmed HPAI in the two non-commercial backyard flocks in Deschutes County. Each property had about 70 to 80 birds, a mix of chickens, ducks and pea fowl, the ODA reported.
To prevent further spread, all birds were humanely euthanized on July 24, the ODA said. Unlike previously reported cases, these flock owners did not sell eggs or other poultry products; therefore, federal guidelines do not require the expansion of the existing regional quarantine, officials said.
But as the spread continues, Deschutes County now has six confirmed cases of bird flu.
East Bend Animal Hospital veteran associate Brett Thomas explained how the virus usually spreads among birds.
“Wild birds, waterfowl are notoriously known to spread this,” Thomas said Tuesday. “So ducks, geese, that sort of thing.”
He also addressed the proximity between flocks of birds.
“If they’re close enough, if the actual speakers are close enough, they could have spread through the air through respiratory secretions — it’s possible,” Thomas said. “Saliva, nasal secretions and even stools.”
State Veterinarian Ryan Scholz expects more HPAI cases statewide as we get closer to the fall season and birds begin their winter migration.
The Oregon Department of Agriculture advises owners of commercial poultry and backyard flocks to monitor their flock and look for symptoms, from “lethargy to decreased egg production to diarrhea, even acute death,” Thomas said.
To protect pet birds from avian flu, Thomas advises owners to ensure their birds’ food and water sources are not exposed to wildlife and to use bird blankets.
Here’s the rest of Tuesday’s announcement from the ODA:
The detection of the bird flu virus does not cause any immediate public concern. Avian influenza does not affect poultry meat or egg products, which remain safe for consumption. Wild and domestic poultry must be properly prepared and cooked.
To keep the public informed, the ODA will provide weekly HPAI summaries beginning August 8 and will post all of Oregon’s confirmed HPAI cases online. You can sign up to receive HPAI updates by email. The ODA will continue to issue press releases to announce the first case of HPAI in domestic poultry in a county that has never had a case of HPAI, and for new or expanded regional quarantines.
As always, the ODA advises owners of commercial and backyard poultry to be vigilant with biosecurity measures and monitoring. Preventing contact between wild birds and domestic flocks is the best way to protect domestic birds from HPAI. Deaths or illnesses among domestic birds must be reported to the ODA. Please report by calling 503-986-4711 (Alternate Phone 1-800-347-7028).
To report wild bird deaths, please contact the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) by calling 1-866-968-2600 or emailing [email protected] gov.
For more advice on protecting backyard flocks, please visit the ODA’s Avian Influenza webpage or en Español at Avian Influenza-Spanish.