Avian Flu Detected In Oregon Wild Duck
Wildlife officials in Oregon say a mallard duck shot by a hunter near Eugene has tested positive for avian flu.
The strain of influenza (H5N2) is relatively common in Europe and Asia and has not caused any human sickness. The flu does not appear to cause illness in wild waterfowl, which have evolved with the virus. But it could kill falcons and hawks.
The real concern, though, is an outbreak in domesticated birds. Avian flu can spread from migratory waterfowl to backyard and commercially-raised birds, causing sickness and death. And it has already surfaced among domesticated birds in the Northwest.
A deadly outbreak struck hundreds of backyard chickens, turkeys and other birds in Washington’s Tri-Cities area. Last month, the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife reported a flock of chickens and guinea fowl near Roseburg tested positive for another strain (H5N8) of the virus.
Wildlife officials are advising poultry owners to keep their flocks away from wild birds.
Monitoring for the disease in the United State increased after outbreaks were discovered in Canada, according to the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota.
Oregon officials say they are not surprised these strains of avian flu have arrived in the state. Wild birds in Washington, California and Utah have also tested positive.
Copyright 2015 Oregon Public Broadcasting