Poultry Quarantine Lifted in SE Washington - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Poultry Quarantine Lifted in SE Washington

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OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) - The Washington Agriculture Department has lifted a quarantine that restricted the movement of eggs, poultry and poultry products in parts of southeast Washington after avian flu was found in two Benton County backyard flocks in December.

The department said Tuesday that the outbreak doesn't appear to have spread beyond those two sites. The quarantine covered parts of Benton and Franklin counties.

Department spokesman Hector Castro says veterinarians with the state and the U.S. Department of Agriculture visited about 1,800 sites and tested samples from birds at more than 70 locations. All were negative for avian flu.

A second quarantine remains in effect in parts of Clallam County, where a flock was confirmed to be infected in mid-January. The Peninsula Daily News quotes Castro as saying that testing there is expected to continue into the near future, but inspectors "are close to wrapping up."

None of the avian viruses detected in Washington have been associated with human illnesses and there is no immediate public health concern.

The virus has not been found in any commercial poultry operations in Washington.

Avian flu does not affect poultry meat or egg products.