Second Quarantine set in Okanogan County to Control Poultry Move - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Second Quarantine set in Okanogan County to Control Poultry Movement

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OLYMPIA, WA - The Washington State Department of Agriculture (WSDA) yesterday  establish a second quarantine zone in Okanogan County, covering an area of roughly six miles around a site in Oroville where avian influenza was confirmed in a flock of mixed poultry and other birds.

The quarantine restricts the movement of eggs, poultry or poultry products out of the identified zone with exemptions made for operations that obtain special permits and meet specific criteria. 

WSDA received test results on Saturday, Jan. 31 that found the flock was infected with the avian influenza virus, though additional tests will be needed to identify the specific strain. This second infected flock consists of about 100 birds, with at least half already succumbing to the disease.

The quarantine is the second established quarantine in Okanogan County. The agency established the first quarantine on Jan. 29 in an area around Riverside where a flock of nearly 5,000 mixed birds was found to be infected with avian influenza. A team of veterinarians from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and WSDA are working on response plans for both flocks. 

Currently, WSDA has a third avian influenza quarantine zone in place in Clallam County, a response to an infected flock discovered there. Tests on birds from flocks in the surrounding area have all come back negative for avian influenza. 

Because migratory wild waterfowl populations can carry the disease, including the highly-pathogenic strains of avian influenza (H5N2 and H5N8), WSDA is encouraging bird owners to protect their domestic birds from contact with wild waterfowl and remain vigilant in their biosecurity measures. 

There is no immediate public health concern due to the avian influenza virus detected, however public health officials routinely contact owners of infected flocks as a precaution. Avian influenza does not affect poultry meat or egg products, which remain safe to eat. As always, both wild and domestic poultry should be properly cooked.

Deaths or illness among domestic birds should be reported to the WSDA Avian Health Program at 1-800-606-3056. For wild birds, contact the Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife at 1-800-606-8768.