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PostPosted: Tue Dec 16, 2014 7:39 pm 
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Lynden, which has H5N2 and H5N8 to the north and south, will hold a town meeting on Thursday sponsored by the WA Dept Agriculture.

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 16, 2014 7:40 pm 
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WSDA to hold town hall meeting in Lynden on avian influenza

OLYMPIA – The Washington State Department of Agriculture (WSDA) will hold a town hall meeting this Thursday to discuss avian influenza and steps poultry owners should be taking to protect their birds following confirmation of the disease among wild fowl in our state.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) today confirmed the presence of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) in wild birds in Whatcom County. Two separate virus strains were identified: HPAI H5N2 in a northern pintail duck and HPAI H5N8 in a captive gyrfalcon that was fed hunter-killed wild birds.
There have been no reports of avian influenza in Washington’s domestic poultry population, though the disease can be deadly to poultry and other birds.
Humans are rarely affected by avian influenza and there has never been a reported instance of a person becoming ill from an infected bird in the United States, although some cases have occurred in foreign countries where people have come in close contact with infected birds.
“There are many strains of avian influenza and it is not uncommon for wild waterfowl to carry the virus,” said Dr. Joe Baker, Washington state veterinarian. “This is why it is critical for poultry owners to take steps to protect their birds from wild fowl.”
The WSDA town hall meeting will be at 6 p.m. Dec. 18 in the Mt. Baker Rotary Building at the Northwest Washington Fairgrounds in Lynden. It is open to the public and WSDA would particularly encourage poultry producers or owners of backyard flocks to attend.
The finding in Whatcom County was quickly reported and identified due to increased surveillance for avian influenza in light of the avian influenza affecting commercial poultry in British Columbia.
Swab samples from the captive gyrfalcon were sent to the Washington State University Avian Health & Food Safety Laboratory in Puyallup and confirmed positive over the weekend through the USDA’s National Veterinary Services Laboratory in Iowa.
The virus can be spread by direct contact with infected birds, contaminated equipment, and through airborne transmission over short distances. The virus is found in feces, saliva, and respiratory secretions of birds carrying the disease.
Washington state officials and the USDA are working jointly to do additional surveillance and testing of birds in the nearby Whatcom County area.
Birds affected by avian influenza can show a variety of symptoms, including:
· decreased appetite
· coughing and sneezing
· lowered egg production
· greenish diarrhea
· excessive thirst
· swollen wattles and combs
Persons seeing sickness in domestic birds are asked to contact the WSDA Avian Health Program at 1-800-606-3056. Sick and dead wild birds should be reported to the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife at 1-800-606-8768. If you are concerned about sickness in you or your family, please contact Washington State Department of Health at 1-800-525-0127.

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 16, 2014 7:44 pm 
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H5N2 map

https://mapsengine.google.com/map/edit? ... NlIM&hl=en

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 17, 2014 1:48 am 
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Wild duck, captive falcon infected with bird flu in Washington

Don Jenkins
Capital Press
Published:
December 16, 2014 5:23PM

Officals say avian flu has been found in Washington state. Ten British Columbia poultry farms have been infected with a highly contagious strain of avian influenza.

Officials say a wild duck and a captive falcon in Whatcom County in northwest Washington state were infected with highly pathogenic avian influenza, similar to the virus killing thousands of chickens and turkeys in British Columbia.
Image
The H5N2 virus, which has struck 10 B.C. poultry farms, was found in a northern pintail duck. A separate highly contagious avian influenza strain, H5N8, was found in a gryfalcon, which died after eating a hunter-killed wild duck.

Both types are equally dangerous, State Veterinarian Joe Baker said. Further tests will have to be conducted to determine whether the H5N2 virus found in the Whatcom County duck precisely matches the genetic makeup of the strain in B.C., he said.

Avian influenza has not been found in any Washington poultry, state Department of Agriculture spokesman Hector Castro said. The department has stepped up testing of flocks in Whatcom County since the outbreak in Canada.

Baker said he believes this was the first time a highly pathogenic strain of avian influenza has been found in Washington state.

He encouraged poultry owners in northwest Washington to alert WSDA to ill birds. “We feel like testing dead and sick and birds will be very important,” he said.

WSDA will hold a town hall meeting at 6 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 18, in the Mount Baker Rotary Building at the Northwest Washington Fairgrounds in Lynden to discuss avian influenza and steps poultry owners should take to protect their birds.

The meeting will be open to the public. WSDA particularly encouraged poultry producers or owners of backyard flocks to attend.

The virus was first reported in British Columbia on Dec. 1 and has killed or forced authorities to euthanize 233,800 birds, according to the Canadian Food Inspection Agency.

The H5N2 virus was confirmed Dec. 13 at a 10th operation, a 53,000-acre chicken farm in Langley, about 29 miles east of Vancouver.

The farm was the largest and the first outside the Abbotsford-Chilliwack area, which is farther east and near the Washington border.

Castro said publicity about the disease outbreak in Canada prompted the falcon owner in Washington to report its death.

Swab samples from the captive gyrfalcon were sent to the Washington State University Avian Health & Food Safety Laboratory in Puyallup. The USDA’s National Veterinary Services Laboratory in Iowa confirmed the positive tests over the weekend.

Baker called the wild duck that the falcon ate the “smoking gun,” though further USDA tests will have to be done on meat leftover from the duck to confirm whether that’s what gave the falcon the virus.

It was not immediately known where the hunter killed that duck.

The other duck, a northern pintail, was found at Wiser Lake south of Lynden, Baker said.

Humans are rarely affected by avian influenza and there has never been a reported instance of a person becoming ill from an infected bird in the United States, although some cases have occurred in foreign countries where people have come in close contact with infected birds, according to WSDA.

The virus can be spread by direct contact with infected birds, contaminated equipment and through airborne transmission over short distances. The virus is found in feces, saliva and respiratory secretions of birds carrying the disease.

Signs of infection include decreased appetite, coughing and sneezing, lowered egg production, greenish diarrhea, excessive thirst and swollen wattles and combs.

Persons seeing sickness in domestic birds are asked to contact the WSDA Avian Health Program at 1-800-606-3056. Sick and dead wild birds should be reported to the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife at 1-800-606-8768.

http://www.capitalpress.com/Washington/ ... washington

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 18, 2014 4:03 am 
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Four agencies will be at a town hall meeting in Lynden on Thursday, Dec. 18, discuss bird flu and what poultry owners can do to protect their birds now that the disease has been confirmed among wild birds in Washington state.

The meeting will begin at 6 p.m. in the Mt. Baker Rotary Building at the Northwest Washington Fair and Event Center, 1775 Front St. in Lynden. Poultry producers and owners of backyard flocks are encouraged to attend.

Officials from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Washington State Department of Agriculture, state Department of Fish and Wildlife, and Whatcom County Health Department will be there.

The agenda will include:

• the current bird flu situation in British Columbia and Washington state,

• the increased testing in Whatcom County, which officials stress will be voluntary,

• what Whatcom County poultry producers and enthusiasts can do to help,

• and time for questions and answers.

http://www.bellinghamherald.com/2014/12 ... .html?rh=1

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 18, 2014 2:41 pm 
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Avian flu outbreak that started in Chilliwack crosses U.S. border
Image
Most of the western half of Chilliwack is in the CFIA's avian influenza restricted zone.— Image Credit: Paul J. Henderson
0
by Paul J. Henderson - Chilliwack Times
posted Dec 18, 2014 at 9:00 AM
The Fraser Valley’s outbreak of avian influenza has now crossed the U.S. border and at least one American expert isn’t impressed with the Canadian Food Inspection Agency’s (CFIA) response.

Biomedical researcher Henry Niman is concerned the highly pathogenic strain will spread throughout North America as wild birds begin winter migration.

No poultry farms in the U.S. were impacted by Wednesday, but the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) reported Tuesday that the H5N2 strain found in Chilliwack, Abbotsford and now Langley has been detected in northern pintail ducks in Lynden, Wash., fewer than 15 kilometres from the Fraser Valley cluster.

“The finding in Whatcom County was quickly reported and identified due to increased surveillance for avian influenza in light of the [highly pathogenic] H5N2 avian influenza affecting commercial poultry in British Columbia, Canada,” said a USDA statement issued Dec. 16.

In addition, a highly pathogenic H5N8 strain was found in Washington in three captive falcons that were fed hunter-killed wild birds.

Niman, who is president of Pittsburgh-based Recombinomics, analyzes viral evolution and the spread of disease.

“The wild birds really can’t be controlled, which is why this is a very big deal that could have a serious impact on poultry markets throughout the Americas,” Niman told the Times.

“Poultry farmers throughout North America should be worried.”

Niman says the CFIA is trying to “manage the message” and downplay concerns, releasing information too slowly, something that could have far-reaching consequences.

As of Wednesday morning, the CFIA had reported 10 farms in the Fraser Valley affected by the current outbreak. Approximately 233,800 chickens and turkeys have either died from the illness or been euthanized.

The first farm where avian flu was detected was a broiler breeder with 13,000 birds in Chilliwack, although no other farms in the city have been directly impacted by the outbreak. Eight of the other farms affected are in Abbotsford—three turkey and five broiler breeders.

The latest and the largest is a 53,000 table egg layer farm in Langley.

The CFIA did say Wednesday that the H5N8 was the first time a "Eurasian lineage highly pathogenic H5 virus has caused an outbreak of avian influenza in poultry in North America."

"The appearance of this particular reassortant virus is significant due to its ability to cause high mortality in domestic poultry," a Dec. 17 CFIA statement said.

No H5N2 illness has been reported in humans, but the CFIA said that as a precautionary measure, public health officials are monitoring workers who are exposed to affected poultry.

While the illness is not dangerous to people, and the outbreak is likely to have little or no impact on consumers, the industry is feeling the effects as a three-level disease control zone has been set up in the province. The largest primary control zone covers the entire southern half of the province from Highway 16 south. Then there is a restricted zone from that encompassing an area between three and 10 kilometres away from infected farms. Chilliwack residents may have seen signs identifying this zone on the eastern side of Vedder Road closer to the Vedder River. The highest restrictions are in the “infected” zone, the area within three kilometres from any known infected premises, which in Chilliwack means most of Greendale and Yarrow.

The CFIA did not respond to a request to comment on Niman’s suggestion they have under-reacted to the current outbreak.

“All of this will come out eventually and pretending it isn’t as big as it is doesn’t solve the problem,” Niman said. “Most of the spread will likely be through independent introductions by wild birds, which is very hard to control.”

http://www.bclocalnews.com/news/286246111.html

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 19, 2014 8:04 pm 
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Josh Green, KING 5 News 10:59 p.m. PST December 18, 2014
State ag experts meet with small flock owners to warn them about current wildlife cases of bird flu.

635545509499060143-birdflu
(Photo: Javier, Liza)

LYNDEN, WA -State agricultural experts met with about 50 people in Whatcom County to try and teach them preventive measures when it comes to bird flu.

"I don't produce enough to be considered a farmer. I just raise poultry for our family," Jerry Birdsey said. "I just want to make sure we're eating safe food."

Those are the people the state of Washington wants to reach. Many backyard flocks aren't enclosed in highly protected areas like large farms are, where national monitoring standards are already in place.

The town hall meeting came after wild birds near the Canadian border tested positive for the strains that are highly pathogenic. Tests confirmed H5N8 in captive Gyrfalcons that were fed wild duck. Tests also led to the discovery of H5N2 in Northern Pintail Duck.

Joe Baker, Washington State Veterinarian, emphasized that waterfowl like ducks might carry the virus and people wouldn't even know it.

"The problem is a waterfowl can carry these high path viruses with no symptoms," said Joe Baker, Washington State Veterinarian. "So it will typically be confined to their digestive systems so they pass out huge amounts of virus in their feces."

Lauralee McLeod lives near Wiser Lake, where the tests discovered the problem, and has about 35 chickens. She felt like she needed to be at Thursday's meeting to learn all she could about the flu.

"There's stuff that comes from the lake that gets dropped on our property so realizing there's avian flu in the lake makes you concerned, of course for your own birds," she told KING 5 News. "People know their chickens. The biggest thing is to watch your flocks, know your flocks and report anything that's not right about your birds."

Presenters also encouraged those with small flocks, especially on migratory paths, take part in the surveillance programs to catch any activity. To see the full presentation from the Washington State Department of Agriculture, clickhere on the PowerPoint presentation the organization's experts presented Thursday night.

http://www.king5.com/story/news/local/2 ... /20627613/

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 19, 2014 8:15 pm 
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Power point of meeting

http://www.scribd.com/doc/250529857/Avi ... Washington

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