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PostPosted: Tue Dec 16, 2014 4:37 pm 
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Two OIE reports describe confirmation of H5N2 and H5N8 in the US, raising concerns of multiple Fujian H5 reassortants with North American N serotypes.

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 16, 2014 4:41 pm 
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Information received on 16/12/2014 from Dr John Clifford, Deputy Administrator, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, United States Department of Agriculture, Washington, United States of America
Summary
Report type Immediate notification
Date of start of the event 10/12/2014
Date of pre-confirmation of the event 15/12/2014
Report date 16/12/2014
Date submitted to OIE 16/12/2014
Reason for notification Reoccurrence of a listed disease
Date of previous occurrence 2004
Manifestation of disease Clinical disease
Causal agent Highly pathogenic avian influenza virus
Serotype H5N2
Nature of diagnosis Laboratory (advanced)
This event pertains to a defined zone within the country
New outbreaks (1)
Outbreak 1 Whatcom County, Whatcom , WASHINGTON
Date of start of the outbreak 10/12/2014
Outbreak status Continuing (or date resolved not provided)
Epidemiological unit Not applicable
Affected animals
Species Susceptible Cases Deaths Destroyed Slaughtered
Northern Pintail:Anas acuta(Anatidae)
Affected population Wild pintail ducks
Summary of outbreaks Total outbreaks: 1
Total animals affected
Species Susceptible Cases Deaths Destroyed Slaughtered
Northern Pintail:Anas acuta(Anatidae) **
Outbreak statistics
Species Apparent morbidity rate Apparent mortality rate Apparent case fatality rate Proportion susceptible animals lost*
Northern Pintail:Anas acuta(Anatidae) ** ** ** **
*Removed from the susceptible population through death, destruction and/or slaughter
**Not calculated because of missing information
Epidemiology
Source of the outbreak(s) or origin of infection
Unknown or inconclusive
Epidemiological comments As a precaution and in response to the recent HPAI outbreak in Canada, surveillance of poultry premises and of wild bird mortality events was enhanced by the USDA, and State personnel along the United States - Canadian Border. Through this surveillance, highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) H5 was identified in wild birds. Two serotypes were identified on enhanced surveillance, both with amino acid sequence at the HA cleavage site consistent with HPAI, H5N8 and H5N2. H5N8 was identified in a captive wild gyrfalcon that was fed hunter killed wild birds from Whatcom County, Washington and H5N2 was identified in a wild pintail duck also from Whatcom County, Washington. Preliminary analysis suggests this H5N2 is similar to the HPAI identified in the current Canadian outbreak. Based upon sequence attempt from a virus isolate, an avian influenza subtype H5 of Eurasian lineage (partial HA 98% similarity to A/bean goose/Korea/H40/2014) and N2 of US wild bird lineage (partial NA 98% similarity to A/American green-winged teal/California/HKWF609/2007); the amino acid sequence at the hemagglutinin cleavage site is consistent with highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI). Preliminary data suggests that these virus strains (H5N2 and H5N8) may be related with the H5N8 strain potentially representing the progenitor; however further analysis is needed. Neither of these viruses has been found in any poultry in the United States. These H5N8 and H5N2 detections involve only wild birds. Further investigation and characterization of the HPAI viruses is ongoing.
Control measures
Measures applied
Vaccination prohibited
No treatment of affected animals
Measures to be applied
No other measures
Diagnostic test results
Laboratory name and type Species Test Test date Result
National Veterinary Services Laboratories (NVSL) (National laboratory) Northern Pintail gene sequencing Pending
National Veterinary Services Laboratories (NVSL) (National laboratory) Northern Pintail haemagglutination (HA) test 15/12/2014 Positive
National Veterinary Services Laboratories (NVSL) (National laboratory) Northern Pintail real-time reverse transcriptase/polymerase chain reaction (RRT-PCR) 15/12/2014 Positive
National Veterinary Services Laboratories (NVSL) (National laboratory) Northern Pintail virus isolation 15/12/2014 Positive
Future Reporting
The event is continuing. Weekly follow-up reports will be submitted.

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 16, 2014 4:45 pm 
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Information received on 16/12/2014 from Dr John Clifford, Deputy Administrator, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, United States Department of Agriculture, Washington, United States of America
Summary
Report type Immediate notification
Date of start of the event 10/12/2014
Date of pre-confirmation of the event 14/12/2014
Report date 16/12/2014
Date submitted to OIE 16/12/2014
Reason for notification Reoccurrence of a listed disease
Date of previous occurrence 2004
Manifestation of disease Clinical disease
Causal agent Highly pathogenic avian influenza virus
Serotype H5N8
Nature of diagnosis Laboratory (advanced)
This event pertains to a defined zone within the country
New outbreaks (1)
Outbreak 1 Whatcom County, Whatcom, WASHINGTON
Date of start of the outbreak 10/12/2014
Outbreak status Continuing (or date resolved not provided)
Epidemiological unit Not applicable
Affected animals
Species Susceptible Cases Deaths Destroyed Slaughtered
Gyrfalcon:Falco rusticolus(Falconidae)
Affected population Captive wild gyrfalcon
Summary of outbreaks Total outbreaks: 1
Total animals affected
Species Susceptible Cases Deaths Destroyed Slaughtered
Gyrfalcon:Falco rusticolus(Falconidae) **
Outbreak statistics
Species Apparent morbidity rate Apparent mortality rate Apparent case fatality rate Proportion susceptible animals lost*
Gyrfalcon:Falco rusticolus(Falconidae) ** ** ** **
*Removed from the susceptible population through death, destruction and/or slaughter
**Not calculated because of missing information
Epidemiology
Source of the outbreak(s) or origin of infection
Unknown or inconclusive
Epidemiological comments As a precaution and in response to the recent HPAI outbreak in Canada, surveillance of poultry premises and of wild bird mortality events was enhanced by the USDA, and State personnel along the United States - Canadian Border. Through this surveillance, highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) H5 was identified in wild birds. Two serotypes were identified on enhanced surveillance, both with amino acid sequence at the HA cleavage site consistent with HPAI, H5N8 and H5N2. H5N8 was identified in a captive wild gyrfalcon that was fed hunter killed wild birds from Whatcom County, Washington and H5N2 was identified in a wild pintail duck also from Whatcom County, Washington. Based upon direct sequencing from gyrfalcon specimens, an avian influenza subtype H5N8 of Eurasian lineage (partial H5 99% similarity to A/coot/Korea/H81/2014 and partial N8 99% similarity to A/Baikal teal/Korea/H41/2014). The amino acid sequence at the hemagglutinin cleavage site is consistent with highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI). Preliminary data suggests that these virus strains (H5N2 and H5N8) may be related with the H5N8 strain potentially representing the progenitor; however further analysis is needed. Neither of these viruses has been found in any poultry in the United States. These H5N8 and H5N2 detections involve only wild birds. Further investigation and characterization of the HPAI viruses is ongoing.
Control measures
Measures applied
Vaccination prohibited
No treatment of affected animals
Measures to be applied
No other measures
Diagnostic test results
Laboratory name and type Species Test Test date Result
National Veterinary Services Laboratories (NVSL) (National laboratory) Gyrfalcon gene sequencing Pending
National Veterinary Services Laboratories (NVSL) (National laboratory) Gyrfalcon haemagglutination (HA) test 14/12/2014 Positive
National Veterinary Services Laboratories (NVSL) (National laboratory) Gyrfalcon real-time reverse transcriptase/polymerase chain reaction (RRT-PCR) 14/12/2014 Positive
National Veterinary Services Laboratories (NVSL) (National laboratory) Gyrfalcon virus isolation 15/12/2014 Positive
Future Reporting
The event is continuing. Weekly follow-up reports will be submitted.

http://www.oie.int/wahis_2/public/wahid ... newlang=en

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 16, 2014 4:58 pm 
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USDA Confirms H5 Avian Influenza in Washington State Wild Birds
H5N2 Found in Northern Pintail Ducks & H5N8 Found in Captive Gyrfalcons
WASHINGTON, Dec. 16, 2014— The United States Department of Agriculture’s
(USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) confirmed the presence of
highly pathogenic (HPAI) H5 avian influenza in wild birds in Whatcom County,
Washington. Two separate virus strains were identified: HPAI H5N2 in northern pintail
ducks and HPAI H5N8 in captive Gyrfalcons that were fed hunter-killed wild birds.
Neither virus has been found in commercial poultry anywhere in the United States.
There is no immediate public health concern with either of these avian influenza viruses.
Both H5N2 and H5N8 viruses have been found in other parts of the world and have not
caused any human infection to date.
The finding in Whatcom County was quickly reported and identified due to increased
surveillance for avian influenza in light of the HPAI H5N2 avian influenza affecting
commercial poultry in British Columbia, Canada.
Washington State, USDA, and other Federal partners are working jointly on additional
surveillance and testing of birds in the nearby area.
All bird owners, whether commercial producers or backyard enthusiasts, are encouraged
to practice good biosecurity, prevent contact between their birds and wild birds, and to
report sick birds or unusual bird deaths to State/Federal officials, either through your state
veterinarian or through USDA’s toll-free number at 1-866-536-7593. Additional
information on biosecurity for backyard flocks can be found at
healthybirds.aphis.usda.gov

http://www.aphis.usda.gov/publications/ ... luenza.pdf

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 16, 2014 8:09 pm 
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Commentary

http://www.recombinomics.com/News/12161 ... N8_US.html

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 16, 2014 9:08 pm 
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Dec 16, 7:47 PM EST

AVIAN FLU CONFIRMED IN WILD BIRDS IN WASHINGTON




SEATTLE (AP) -- U.S. officials say they've found avian influenza in wild birds in Washington state but there's no immediate public health concern.

The Department of Agriculture said Tuesday that separate strains of the H5 virus have been confirmed in northern pintail ducks and gyrfalcons (JER'-fal-kuhns) that were fed wild birds killed by hunters.

The agency says both viruses have been found in other parts of the world and have not caused any human infection to date.

Neither virus has been found in commercial poultry in the U.S.

An avian influenza outbreak this month in southwest British Columbia has spread to seven poultry farms, and 155,000 birds have died of the virus or will be euthanized.

In Washington, the virus was detected in Whatcom County, which is on the Canadian border.

http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/U/ ... TE=DEFAULT

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 16, 2014 9:52 pm 
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Bird flu confirmed in wild birds in Whatcom County
BY KIE RELYEA
The Bellingham Herald
December 16, 2014 Updated 38 minutes ago

Two separate strains of bird flu have been confirmed in wild birds in Whatcom County, the U.S. Department of Agriculture announced Tuesday, Dec. 16.

Tests identified H5N2 in a northern pintail duck and H5N8 in a gyrfalcon fed wild birds killed by hunters, agriculture officials said.

Bird flu can be deadly to poultry and other birds.

The Washington State Department of Agriculture will hold a town hall meeting Thursday, Dec. 18, to discuss bird flu and what poultry owners can do to protect their birds now that the disease has been confirmed among wild birds in the state.

The public 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 stressed that the strains don’t pose an immediate health concern for the public because they have been found elsewhere in the world and have yet to infect humans.

And there hasn’t been a reported case of a person in the U.S. becoming sickened with bird flu from an infected bird. Properly cooked waterfowl and domestic poultry do not sicken people.

Neither virus has been found in commercial poultry in the United States, the USDA said.

The cases were quickly reported and identified given the increased surveillance and testing of birds in Whatcom County after the outbreak of the H5N2 strain in commercial poultry in British Columbia.

Meanwhile, officials said commercial producers and backyard bird enthusiasts can keep the flu away from their flocks by taking steps that include preventing contact with wild birds, because it’s not usual for wild water fowl to carry strains of the flu.

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

Birds affected by avian influenza can show symptoms that include:

• decreased appetite.

• coughing and sneezing.

• lowered egg production.

• greenish diarrhea.

• excessive thirst.

• swollen wattles and combs.

Learn more at healthybirds.aphis.usda.gov.

Illness in domestic birds should be reported to the Department of Agriculture’s Avian Health Program at 1-800-606-3056.

Sick and dead wild birds should be reported to the state Department of Fish and Wildlife at 1-800-606-8768.

People concerned about sickness in themselves or their family, can contact the state Department of Health at 1-800-525-0127.

Reach Kie Relyea at 360-715-2234 or kie.relyea@bellinghamherald.com.

Read more here: http://www.theolympian.com/2014/12/16/3 ... rylink=cpy

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 17, 2014 12:24 am 
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H5N2, H5N8 avian flu viruses surface in US
Filed Under: Avian Influenza (Bird Flu)
Robert Roos | News Editor | CIDRAP News | Dec 16, 2014
Image
A wild pintail duck, one of the species in which H5N2 avian flu has been found in Washington state.
US authorities today reported finding wild birds in Washington state infected with two different highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) viruses, H5N2 and H5N8, raising questions about possible connections with recent H5N2 outbreaks across the border in Canada and with an Asian H5N8 strain that is now hitting European poultry farms.

In reports to the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE), the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) said H5N2 was found in a wild pintail duck, while H5N8 was found in a captive wild gyrfalcon that was fed on hunter-killed birds. Both birds were in Whatcom County, Washington, which borders the Abbotsford area of British Columbia, the site of recent H5N2 outbreaks in poultry.

Also today, Italy became the fourth European country in the past few weeks to report an H5N8 outbreak in poultry, with an outbreak on a turkey farm, and Germany reported a second poultry H5N8 outbreak at a site distant from its first H5N8 event.

Increased surveillance prompted finds
Both US viruses were detected because of increased surveillance prompted by the Canadian H5N2 outbreaks. The USDA said neither virus has been found in any poultry in the United States.

In a "stakeholder announcement," the USDA said, "There is no immediate public health concern with either of these avian influenza viruses. Both H5N2 and H5N8 viruses have been found in other parts of the world and have not caused any human infection to date."

In its OIE reports, the agency said, "Preliminary analysis suggests this H5N2 is similar to the HPAI identified in the current Canadian outbreak." The report was filed by John Clifford, DVM, deputy director of the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS). The agency filed separate reports on the two detections, but with identical epidemiologic comments.

The report does not comment on whether the H5N8 virus is related to the H5N8 currently circulating in Europe. It says the hemagglutinin component (H5) of the H5N2 virus is related to a virus isolated from a bean goose in Korea this year, while the neuraminidase (N2) component of the H5N2 isolate is similar to that from a virus found in a US green-winged teal in 2007.

The report goes on to say, "Preliminary data suggests that these virus strains (H5N2 and H5N8) may be related with the H5N8 strain potentially representing the progenitor; however further analysis is needed."

The USDA and Washington authorities are working on additional surveillance and testing of birds in northwestern Washington, the agency said. It called on all bird owners, both commercial and noncommercial, to keep their birds separated from wild birds and to report illnesses and unusual deaths to state veterinary authorities or the USDA.

Turkey outbreak in Italy
Italian veterinary authorities, in reporting their H5N8 outbreak to the OIE, said the virus killed 1,219 of 31,985 turkeys on a farm near Venice in northeastern Italy's Veneto province.

The report said culling of the surviving turkeys to control the outbreak would begin today and that other control measures would be applied in a restriction zone around the farm. Officials also said they are sequencing the virus to determine its genotype.

Italy follows Germany, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom in reporting recent outbreaks of H5N8 in poultry. Germany was the first, with a report of the virus on a turkey farm on Nov 4, and outbreaks were reported on chicken and duck farms in the Netherlands and the UK shortly afterward. At least four farms in the Netherlands have been struck by the virus.

The latest outbreak in Germany involves a turkey farm in the northwestern state of Lower Saxony, according to a Reuters report today. The story gave no information on the number of turkeys affected or on response efforts.

Germany's initial outbreak was on a turkey farm in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, a northeastern state. The virus also was later found in a wild bird.

The European outbreaks follow a series of widespread outbreaks in South Korea early this year. Authorities suspect that wild birds carried H5N8 from East Asia to Europe. No human H5N8 infections have been reported as yet.

In late November the OIE and the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization warned that H5N8 represented a serious threat to the poultry industry, especially in less-wealthy European countries.

H5 outbreak in Japan
In other developments, Japan's agriculture ministry reported today that a farm in the country's southwestern prefecture of Miyazaki was hit by a highly pathogenic H5 avian flu virus, according to a separate Reuters story. The story did not specify the virus's full subtype.

Three chickens tested positive for the virus, prompting destruction of all 4,000 chickens on the farm, an official told Reuters. The story said Miyazaki is Japan's top producer of broiler chickens.

See also:

Dec 16 US report to OIE on H5N8 in gyrfalcon

Dec 17 US report to OIE on H5N2 in duck

Dec 16 USDA statement to stakeholders

Dec 11 CIDRAP News item on H5N2 outbreaks in British Columbia

Dec 16 Italian report to the OIE

Dec 16 Reuters story on German outbreak

Dec 16 Reuters story on H5 outbreak in Japan

Nov 24 CIDRAP News story about FAO, OIE warning

http://www.cidrap.umn.edu/news-perspect ... surface-us

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 17, 2014 1:47 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: Wed Dec 17, 2014 3:20 am 
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Avian flu virus found in wild birds in Whatcom County; USDA says no immediate cause for public concern
POSTED 3:58 PM, DECEMBER 16, 2014, BY Q13 FOX NEWS STAFF, UPDATED AT 04:35PM, DECEMBER 16, 2014
FACEBOOK41TWITTER2GOOGLEPINTERESTLINKEDINEMAIL
A northern pintail duck. (Photo: gallery.usgs.gov)
A northern pintail duck. (Photo: gallery.usgs.gov)
WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Agriculture on Tuesday confirmed the presence of two different strains of H5 avian flu virus in wild birds in Whatcom County, but said there was no immediate public health concern.

“Both H5N2 and HFN8 viruses have been found in other parts of the world and have not caused any human infection to date,” USDA said.

The department said HPAI H5N2 avian influenza was was discovered in northern pintail ducks and HPAI H5N8 strain was found in captive Gyrfalcons that were fed hunter-killed wild birds.

“Neither virus has been found in commercial poultry anywhere in the United States,” USDA said.

The finding in Whatcom County was quickly reported and identified due to increased surveillance for avian influenza in light of the strain affecting commercial poultry in British Columbia, the USDA said.

The USDA, Washington state and other federal partners are working on additional surveillance and testing of birds in the nearby area.

All bird owners are encouraged to practice good biosecurity, prevent contact between their birds and wild birds and to report sick birds or unusual bird deaths to state/federal officials. Call your local vet or USDA’s toll-free number at 866-536-7593. Additional information on biosecurity of backyard flocks can be found at http://www.healthybirds.aphis.usda.gov.

The Washington State Department of Agriculture said it will hold a town hall meeting Thursday to discuss the findings and steps poultry owners should take to protect their birds.

The town hall will be held at 6 p.m. Thursday, in the Mount Baker Rotary Building at the Northwest Washington Fairgrounds in Lynden. It is open to the public.

http://q13fox.com/2014/12/16/avian-flu- ... c-concern/

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