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USDA To Investigate Avian Flu In Tri-Cities

Scott Bauer

Two strains of highly contagious avian flu have been found in Washington and Oregon so far.

Now a U.S. Department of Agriculture team is headed to the Tri-Cities to contact nearby bird owners and try to obtain samples to see how far the disease might have spread. They plan to stake out local feed stores and contact bird groups in the areas of Richland and West Richland.

Domestic birds most often get the disease by having contact with wild birds or ducks or their feces.

Two flocks of turkeys, ducks and chickens have turned up in the New Year with the virus in Benton County. The state has quarantined poultry meat and eggs in a 20-mile zone there.

Dozens of countries have stopped or restricted imports of poultry and eggs from the Northwest including Canada.

Anna King calls Richland, Washington home and loves unearthing great stories about people in the Northwest. She reports for the Northwest News Network from a studio at Washington State University, Tri-Cities. She covers the Mid-Columbia region, from nuclear reactors to Mexican rodeos.