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Bird Flu plagues two flocks of birds at Central Washington Fair

YAKIMA, Wash. - The Yakima Health District was informed by the Washington State Department of Health, that two bird flocks exhibited at the Central Washington State Fair in Yakima, tested positive for avian influenza (Bird Flu) on September 28. 

The strain of avian influenza that was identified has an extremely low potential to cause serious illness among humans, and it is not uncommon to find among wild bird flocks in the U.S. 

In recent avian influenza outbreaks among U.S. poultry, no human infections were identified. In this situation, the risk of human infection is extremely low. 

In rare cases, avian influenza can be transmitted to humans. When this occurs, symptoms begin to onset within one to ten days after exposure. 

Symptoms of bird-acquired influenza include the following: cough, fever, body aches, weakness and fatigue most commonly. However, the illness can also include other symptoms such as sore throat, runny nose, chills, and difficulty breathing. 

“If you attended the Central Washington State Fair, there is no cause for alarm. The risk of transmission of this type of avian influenza is extremely low. If transmission did take place, those affected would likely have already experienced symptoms. Symptoms would likely not occur after October 10,” advised Melissa Sixberry, RN, Director of Disease Control at the Yakima Health District. 

If you are experiencing symptoms and are concerned call your health provider. For more information on the avian influenza visit the Department of Health website.

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