Two Outbreaks of Avian Flu Detected in Yakima County


The bird flu has made its way to Yakima County, and state officials encourage flock owners to take steps to protect uninfected birds.

A backyard flock in Yakima County tested positive for highly pathogenic avian influenza Tuesday and a second case was confirmed in the county Friday afternoon, according to news releases from the Washington state Department of Agriculture.

The virus had been detected in 10 counties and 19 flocks statewide.

All infected flocks have had contact with wild waterfowl, which are known to transmit the virus without necessarily being infected, the release said.

Flock owners near confirmed outbreaks may be contacted by Agriculture officials to monitor the health of their flocks and should otherwise keep domestic flocks isolated from wild waterfowl.

"The virus continues to be present in all corners of our state," State Veterinarian Dr. Amber Itle said in the release. "It's so important we remain vigilant."

She asked bird owners to withdraw from exhibitions or fairs until at least the end of June and requested that live bird markets discontinue sales temporarily.

If a flock experiences sudden death or illness of multiple birds, owners can call the WSDA hotline at 1-800-606-3056. Sick or dead wild birds should be reported using the Washington state Department of Fish and Wildlife's online reporting tool.

The release said birds that already died should be double-bagged and kept in a cooler on ice until WSDA veterinarians can arrange for sampling. Do not allow scavenger birds access to dead domestic birds as this can further spread the virus, it said.

More information about the avian flu can be found at