Bird flu comes to Snohomish County, via backyard flock

Where exactly was not immediately released. But flock owners should be vigilant to prevent further spread of the virus.

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The bird flu has landed in Snohomish County.

According to the state Department of Agriculture, the highly pathogenic avian influenza H5N1 was detected Friday in a small backyard flock somewhere in this county.

Where, exactly, was not identified in a news release. Nor was it marked on a map of outbreaks.

Still, the state had some tips for flock owners: wash your boots before going into a chicken coop, and again when you leave; sanitize any equipment you use around birds; and wear clean clothing.

The Department of Agriculture is urging people to keep their domestic flocks isolated from wild waterfowl.

“In all backyard detections, we’ve seen significant exposure to wild waterfowl,” Dr. Amber Itle, Washington State Veterinarian, said in a statement.

Flock owners who see multiple birds get sick or suddenly die should call the Department of Agriculture’s sick bird hotline at 1-800-606-3056. Dead birds should be double-bagged and kept in a cooler on ice until state veterinarians can make arrangements for sampling. Keep them out of reach of scavenger birds, as they can further spread the virus.

Sick or dead birds should be reported online at https://bit.ly/3sZhQY7

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

“The virus is present in all corners of our state,” Itle said in a statement. “It’s so important we remain vigilant.”

For more information and updates, go to the Department of Agriculture’s bird flu web page at https://bit.ly/3wV7JF5, or its Facebook group “Washington Bird Flu Updates 2022.”

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