Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Feds warn of human flu from birds in U.S.

The Centres for Disease Control is warning United States residents to be wary of picking up influenza from infected birds.

There is nothing similar coming from the Public Health Agency of Canada.

The U.S. warning comes after another outbreak just south of the British Columbia border.

That means there is a third quarantine zone in the area where half of a flock of 100 birds in Okanogan County has died of an H5 strain of avian influenza.

The Washington State Dept. of Agriculture said the six-mile area in Oroville, Wash., bans movement of all eggs, poultry or poultry products from leaving the area.

Authorities established the first emergency quarantine zone late last month after birds tested positive for the H5N2 strain and set up another in Clallam County after another flock was found to be infected with the strain.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued its warning, noting that the United States Department of Agriculture has received 14 reports of four specific highly-pathogenic srains of avian influenza (HPIA) between Dec. 14, 2014, and Jan. 6, 2015 in the states of California, Idaho, Oregon, Utah and Washington.

The outbreaks involved a total of five domestic, backyard flocks, two captive wild birds and seven wild aquatic birds.

The health-agency officials also said that although some HPAI strains are not known to cause disease in humans, the H5N1, H5N6 and H7N9 strains have been associated with what the agency called “severe, sometimes fatal disease” in humans, usually following contact with poultry.

The agency advises people who notice birds with avian flu symptoms to get them tested and to promptly seek help for their flock and themselves.