US - Quarantine has been lifted in Okanogan County, signalling the end of restrictions of poultry movements in Washington State following previous avian flu outbreaks.
Washington State Department of Agriculture (WSDA) has lifted two avian influenza quarantines that had been in place in parts of Okanogan County, weeks after the emergency rules were first adopted to enact them and restrict the movement of eggs, poultry or poultry products in these restricted zones.
The first quarantine was established on 29 January in Riverside and the second was set on 2 February in Oroville. WSDA has determined that the avian influenza detected in these two Okanogan County flocks does not appear to have spread beyond those two sites. Both flocks were euthanised following the detection of the disease.
Veterinarians with the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) and WSDA also visited numerous locations in the quarantine areas and tested samples from several birds at these sites. All samples tested negative for avian influenza.
As a result of these actions and lifting of the quarantines, there are no restrictions on the movement of poultry or poultry products anywhere in Washington state. All quarantines that have been established as part of WSDA’s response to earlier avian influenza detections have now been lifted, including previous quarantines in Clallam, Benton and Franklin counties.
None of the viruses detected in Washington has been associated with human illnesses and there is no immediate public health concern. However, public health officials have contacted owners of identified infected flocks as a precaution. The virus has not been detected in any commercial poultry operations in Washington. The state’s commercial poultry industry has a robust avian influenza testing program and WSDA conducts weekly surveillance testing and health inspections at live bird markets in the state.
Although all quarantines within Washington have been lifted, the risk of exposure to avian influenza remains. Because migratory wild waterfowl can carry avian influenza, including highly-pathogenic avian influenza, WSDA continues to urge bird owners to protect their domestic birds from contact with wild waterfowl and remain vigilant in their biosecurity measures.
Avian influenza does not affect poultry meat or egg products, which remain safe to eat. As always, both wild and domestic poultry should be properly cooked.
You can visit the Avian Flu page by clicking here.