State’s 2nd outbreak of bird flu confirmed in Spokane County

May 9, 2022 GMT

SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) — Agriculture experts have confirmed Washington state’s second outbreak of bird flu, this time in a non-commercial flock in Spokane County.

The affected flock is a mix of about 75 geese, chickens, ducks and guinea fowl and they were euthanized.

A private veterinarian submitted a dead goose that exhibited unusual behavior prior to death, including walking abnormally, shaking its head, not moving, and exhibiting a lack of fear of humans.

The presence of H5N1 avian influenza virus in the flock was detected by Washington State University’s Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory and confirmed by the National Veterinary Services Laboratory on Saturday.

This is the second detection of the virus in Washington state this year, following last week’s confirmation in Pacific County, also in a backyard flock. There are no detections in commercial poultry in the state.

Officials said 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.

Avian influenza can be transmitted from wild birds to domestic birds through direct contact, fecal contamination, transmission through the air, environmental contamination, and shared water sources.