There was avian flu that was recently found, in a green-winged teal in Washington state, but it is a different strain and is not known to harm humans nor has it been found in domestic poultry.
The duck, harvested by a hunter, tested for avian flu.
H5N1 is a highly pathogenic avian (bird) flu virus that has caused serious outbreaks in domestic poultry in parts of Asia and the Middle East. "Highly pathogenic" does not mean it can harm humans, it means it can produce disease, though nearly 650 cases of human cases of H5N1 have been reported from 15 countries since 2003. Most human cases of “highly pathogenic“ H5N1 virus infection have occurred in people who had recent contact with sick or dead poultry that were infected with H5N1 viruses. About 60% of people infected with the virus died from their illness.
There had been no reported infections with these viruses in birds, poultry, or people in the United States so the media claims set off a daisy chain of worries.
The United States Geological Survey now reports that this Washington state strain incorporates genes from North American waterfowl-associated viruses. Unlike the Asian H5N1 strain that has been found in Asia, Europe, and Africa, this Washington state strain has only been found in wild waterfowl and has not been associated with human illness, nor has this new Washington state strain been found in domestic poultry.
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