The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) confirmed today the presence of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) in a non-commercial, backyard flock (non-poultry) in Linn County – the first confirmed case in Oregon since 2015. HPAI (H5N1) is a highly contagious virus that transmits easily among wild and domestic bird species. However, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the recent HPAI detection does not present an immediate public health concern.
“We knew HPAI was coming our way after a bald eagle in British Columbia tested positive in early March,” said Dr. Ryan Scholz, State Veterinarian, Oregon Department of Agriculture (ODA). “Since that detection, we have been hard at work communicating with our commercial poultry producers, veterinarians, and the public on how they can protect their flocks. Now more than ever, all bird owners must practice good biosecurity, prevent contact between their birds and wild birds and report sick birds or unusual deaths so ODA can ensure testing.”
A quick response is needed to prevent the spread of HPAI. The owner of the affected backyard flock reported the deaths and delivered at least one of the birds to Oregon State University’s (OSU) Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory for initial sample testing. Samples were also sent to APHIS’s National Veterinary Services Laboratory (NVSL). Meanwhile, ODA quickly quarantined the affected premises. ODA will humanely euthanize any additional birds on the property to prevent the spread of the disease. Birds from this farm were not used for food and will not enter the food system. There are no detections in commercial poultry in the state.
ODA and federal partners are working jointly on additional surveillance and testing in the nearby area, following existing avian influenza response plans. If you find a sick or dying bird, ODA asks that you do not touch it; report it. For domestic birds, please report by calling ODA at 1-800-347-7028 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. For wild birds, please call and report to the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife by calling 1-866-968-2600.
For more information about HPAI, please visit ODAs Avian Influenza web page. You will learn more about avian influenza, its signs, symptoms, and ways to protect your birds. APHIS also has materials about biosecurity, including videos, checklists, and a toolkit available at Defend the Flock Resource Center. Anyone involved with poultry production from the small backyard to the large commercial producer should review their biosecurity activities to assure the health of their birds. In addition, the USDA updates the latest HPAI detections on its website.