Testing For WA Bird Flu: What You Need To Know - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Testing For WA Bird Flu: What You Need To Know

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Our local eggs aren't going to China. After confirmed cases of bird flu were found in Benton County recently nearly 30 nations will restrict American poultry. Our local eggs aren't going to China. After confirmed cases of bird flu were found in Benton County recently nearly 30 nations will restrict American poultry.

UPDATE:  The Washington State Department of Agriculture has released an update on the investigation into bird flu in Benton County.    As of Wednesday afternoon, the joint USDA/WSDA team of veterinarians and technicians working in Benton County have visited a total of 728 premises within the quarantine zone nearest the two originally infected sites. The team has taken samples from birds at 66 locations.

   So far, all of the samples submitted for testing have come back negative for avian influenza.  


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NBCRightNow.com - Our local eggs aren't going to China. After confirmed cases of bird flu were found in Benton County recently nearly 30 nations will restrict American poultry.

The Washington State Department of Agriculture has been sampling flocks of local birds. Portions of Benton County are under quarantine. Last week officials told us if there aren't more confirmed cases in these samples they're conducting it could only last weeks rather than the projected 8 months. Their samples will have to be sent to the U-S-d-a and examined before we know if we're in the clear.

"We're just going around the county knocking on doors and seeing if we can ask if they'll let us test their birds," said Ben Smith who works as the Eastern Washington Regional Field Veterinarian for WSDA.

Don't be alarmed if you see those vets in decontamination suits walking around your neighborhood. The WSDA says their measures and tests are precautionary.

"Yeah, just reduce risk, reduce risk of any contact," explained Leslie Linderoth.

Linderoth volunteered her birds for sampling Monday in Kennewick. WSDA officials demonstrated how important it is for them to not cross-contaminate any possible cases practically treating each bird like a tiny patient.

"I mean wild birds are beautiful but we need to limit their activity in our yards at the present time."

It'S likely a wild bird coming from British Columbia, Canada brought the flu across borders. That'S why Linderoth is keeping her birds fairly separated and covering up the cages to keep the wild ones out. She thinks locals shouldn't decline sampling or testing if they're asked.

"I'm hoping that they will realize the importance that the testing is really for the benefit of everybody."

As a 4-H instructor she teaches kids how to love and care for birds. This is just part of the learning process for them. Now they're just hoping their birds are healthy. She'S seen others have to euthanize their entire flocks.

"I love them very much but you know there'S just a point where you have to...if they (WSDA) come in I'm ready. It wouldn't be a happy moment but I'd be ready."

According to the WSDA store bought produce is safe to eat. As we reported last week the flock neighboring one of the infected flocks in Benton County that had to be euthanized actually tested negative for bird flu.

So far over 700 birds that came in contact with this strain of the flu have died. Additional bird flu cases have been confirmed in Whatcom County, WA as well as in Southern Oregon. CLICK HERE FOR PREVIOUS REPORTS
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