NOTICE: H5N8 Found in Backyard Poultry in Oregon

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The United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) confirmed the presence of highly pathogenic (HPAI) H5N8 avian influenza in guinea fowl and chickens from a small backyard poultry flock in Winston, Oregon.  The flock of approximately 100 birds has access to the outdoors. A pond and a marsh on the premises are frequented by migratory birds.


The H5N8 virus has NOT been found in commercial poultry anywhere in the United States


There is no immediate public health concern, as the H5N8 virus has been found in birds in other parts of the world and has not caused any human infection to date.


Surveillance for avian influenza is ongoing in commercial poultry operations, live bird markets, and in migratory wild bird populations.  Additionally, commercial poultry producers follow strict biosecurity practices and raise their birds in very controlled environments.  Birds from the affected backyard flock will not enter the food chain.  All poultry, poultry products and wild birds are safe to eat as long as they are properly handled and cooked to a temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit.


The finding in Oregon was quickly reported and identified due to increased awareness of avian influenza in light of the HPAI H5 findings in wild birds in Washington State earlier this week. This H5N8 virus is the same virus that was found in the Washington State gyrfalcons.


Oregon State officials and USDA are working jointly to respond to this detection, following existing HPAI response plans.  The State of Oregon quarantined the affected premises, and APHIS will assist the State in depopulating the remaining birds to prevent the spread of the disease.  Additional surveillance of poultry around the infected premises will be conducted as outlined in the response plans.


USDA notified the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) of this detection today as required by the OIE.  USDA expects trading partners to respond to this reported detection according to OIE’s science-based standards.  USDA is working with trading partners to minimize trade impacts on poultry and poultry products as much as possible.


All bird owners, whether commercial producers or backyard enthusiasts, are encouraged to practice good biosecurity, prevent contact between their birds and wild birds, and to report sick birds or unusual bird deaths to State/Federal officials, either through your state veterinarian or through USDA’s toll-free number at 1-866-536-7593. Additional information on biosecurity for backyard flocks can be found at


USDA is coordinating closely with its partners, including Washington and Oregon State officials, the U.S. Department of the Interior and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, on avian influenza surveillance, reporting, and control.