(Whatcom County, WA)
Informational bulletin courtesy of Whatcom County Sheriff’s Office, Division of Emergency Management
Update on Bird Flu diagnosis, December 16, 2014
The Washington State Department of Agriculture is stepping up testing at Whatcom County, after three falcons with the Avian Bird Flu virus were found in Lynden, Washington. The tests show that three pet falcons had contracted a strain of the virus (H5N8) that is different than the current outbreak north of the Canadian border in Abbotsford, British Columbia.
Canadian officials have confirmed a Langley farm is the latest to be hit by the H5N2 virus strain that has already affected hundreds of thousands of birds in BC. The Canadian Food Inspection Agency officials say 53,000 birds at the unidentified farm were affected. That now pushes the total number of birds that are either dead or set to be euthanized British Columbia to 233,800.
It is unclear where the virus originated here in Whatcom County, but officials think migrating birds may be to blame for its spread. Avian influenza poses little danger to people as long as poultry meat is handled and cooked properly.
The Washington State Department of Agriculture, and the United States Department of Agriculture are leading the investigations into further infections in Whatcom County. If you have questions contact the WA State Dept. of Agriculture at PH: 360/902-1800 or TTY: 800-833-6388
Excellent information on “backyard biosecurity for the birds” is available at: http://www.aphis.usda.gov/animal_health/birdbiosecurity/ .