The Oregon Department of Agriculture has confirmed the fifth detection of avian influenza, or bird flu, in Deschutes County, resulting in a regional quarantine encompassing Bend. For humans, experts say the risk is small.
Avian Influenza has led to the deaths of more than 40 million birds across the country this year.
The infected flock in Bend involved 30 chickens and 40 ducks, which were all humanely put down.
Think Wild, a Bend wildlife hospital, tells us the bird flu is not lethal to humans.
“It could cause some mild symptoms, but not as bad as your chickens having it,” said Molly Honea, Wildlife Hotline Coordinator with Think Wild.
Backyard and commercial chickens are actually the main groups being impacted.
The quarantine prevents the movement of poultry and poultry products to avoid a spread. It also alerts other states to stop importing all birds from states with active quarantines.
“From the flock that they tested and had a positive case in Central Oregon, they were providers of eggs to local markets,” said Honea.
According to Think Wild, eggs, chicken and other poultry are still safe to eat as long as they are properly cooked.
To keep your backyard birds safe, you can take precautions:
- Putting awnings and coverings over your flock so that wild birds can’t fly over and drop waste into your enclosure
- Making sure if you go to a place that has water fowl to not wear the same shoes into your enclosures with your own birds
- Hand washing and sanitation
If you think your flock has been infected, you can call the Oregon Department of Agriculture or the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife.
If you would like to know if your flock is in the quarantine area, you can visit this map on the ODA website.