Another avian influenza outbreak has been reported in Washington, according to the state Department of Agriculture (WSDA).
Officials confirmed the highly-contagious disease, which is also known as bird flu, was detected in a non-commercial backyard flock in Spokane County. The flock of 75 included geese, chickens, ducks, and guinea fowl, according to a Saturday (May 7) press release. The property was quarantined and all birds on the premises have been euthanized.
"A private veterinarian submitted a dead goose that exhibited unusual behavior prior to death, including walking abnormally, shaking its head, not moving, and exhibiting a lack of fear of humans. The owner reported other sick birds and an increased rate of mortality," officials wrote. "The presence of H5N1 avian influenza virus in the flock was detected by WSU Washington Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory (WADDL) and confirmed by the National Veterinary Services Laboratory."
This news comes days after the first reported outbreak in the state. The initial cases stemmed from another backyard flock in Pacific County, WSDA confirmed on May 5. No commercial flocks have been affected.
The agency says there's no immediate public health concern. Since bird flu doesn't affect poultry meat or egg products, they're still safe to eat. Officials still stress that they should be properly cooked before eating.
For more information about bird flu, visit WSDA's webpage on the virus.