The discovery of the avian flu in the Pacific Northwest wasn’t unexpected as the virus has been spreading rapidly across the country in both domestic and wild birds, particularly water fowl. The virus seems to be spreading as wild birds migrate north along the Pacific Flyway and sometimes those birds stop to rest amidst domestic flocks, said Dana Dobbs, a veterinarian with Washington state.
An infected bald eagle was found in British Columbia, Canada, in early March, said Dr. Ryan Scholz, Oregon's state veterinarian.
“The long and the short of it is the producer noticed that one day a crow flew in with some of his chickens and the next day, he literally described that they were dropping like flies,” she said.
“We want to contain and eradicate this disease as soon as possible to protect our commercial poultry industry as well as some of our backyard flocks that are selling eggs and doing things like that.”
The cases do not pose a risk to humans, and birds from the farms were not used for food.
Wildlife authorities in the Pacific Northwest said Friday that the virus seems to primarily affect waterfowl, but people who feed songbirds should take extra steps to clean their feeders frequently out of an abundance of caution.
There are no detections of the avian flu in commercial poultry in either state, state agriculture officials said Friday.