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ODA prepares as highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) is confirmed in the Pacific Flyway

Oregon Department of Agriculture

On March 2, the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) confirmed a bald eagle found dead in British Columbia, Canada tested positive for the highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) Eurasian strain H5N1. The detection is the first in North America’s Pacific Flyway, since 2015. HPAI is a highly contagious, deadly disease in domestic poultry. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Prevention, HPAI detections do not present an immediate public health concern. No human cases of these avian influenza viruses have been detected in the United States.

“The best protection for birds are owners who practice effective biosecurity,” said Dr. Ryan Scholz, State Veterinarian, Oregon Department of Agriculture. “We must be vigilant and strict with our biosecurity practices, especially for backyard flocks, as well as educated on when and how to report potential avian influenza deaths. Our preparation could reduce the risk of infection among poultry and prevent or limit the impact of HPAI introduction in Oregon.”Earlier this year, the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) confirmed HPAI in wild waterfowl in the Atlantic Flyway, on the east coast. In addition, USDA APHIS has also confirmed HPAI infections in 16 states including both backyard and commercial flocks with new detections announced every week.

ODA is working closely with USDA APHIS, other federal partners, neighboring states, and commercial poultry producers to prevent the introduction of HPAI into Oregon’s poultry flocks. ODA is asking for the public’s help in detecting HPAI in backyard flocks.

Tracking cases is critical. ODA asks bird owners to report unusual increases in illness or death rates in their flocks. If you find a sick or dead bird, don’t touch it, report it.

If you find a dead or sick wild bird, please report to the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife by calling 1-866-968-2600.

For more information about HPAI, symptoms, biosecurity and how you can protect your flock please visit ODA’s avian influenza webpage in English at https://oda.direct/AI and in Spanish at https://oda.direct/IA.

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