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New Case Of Avian Flu Confirmed In Washington State

File photo of a Sebastopol goose.

Another case of avian flu has been confirmed in birds in Washington state -- this time in a backyard flock in Port Angeles.

The previous cases were in Whatcom and Benton counties.

According to the Washington Department of Agriculture, the owner of the flock called authorities after one of his birds -- a Sebastopol goose -- died last week. Other birds were also showing symptoms of avian influenza. A joint team went out over the weekend and euthanized the remaining 118 birds.

Now veterinarians will test birds in nearby flocks to make sure the disease hasn’t spread. At the same time, the Department of Agriculture is preparing a quarantine zone in the broader Port Angeles area to limit the movement of poultry and poultry products.

China and several other countries have banned the import of U.S. poultry products as a result of avian flu cases in Washington and British Columbia. However, agriculture officials say this strain of the disease cannot be passed to humans and meat and eggs remain safe to eat.

So far no commercial chicken farms in Washington have been infected. Migratory waterfowl are the likely carriers of the disease.

Since January 2004, Austin Jenkins has been the Olympia-based political reporter for the Northwest News Network. In that position, Austin covers Northwest politics and public policy, as well as the Washington State Legislature. You can also see Austin on television as host of TVW's (the C–SPAN of Washington State) Emmy-nominated public affairs program "Inside Olympia."