The Yakima Health District has been informed by the Washington State Department of Health that two bird flocks exhibited at the Central Washington State Fair in Yakima tested positive on September 28 for low pathogenic avian influenza (LPAI).

Image/ National Atlas of the United States
Image/ National Atlas of the United States

LPAI is sub-set of “bird flu” with a low potential to cause serious illness, not the highly pathogenic bird flu that from time-to-time and place-to-place causes large die-offs of wild and domestic birds.

The bird flocks of concern originated from Lewis County, not Yakima County, and are being followed up by the Washington State Department of Agriculture.

The incubation period for this type of infection is 1-10 days. If any transmission did occur to fair-goers, bird-acquired illness probably would have already occurred and would not occur later than October 10.

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

In the recent avian flu outbreaks among US poultry, no human infections were identified. Low path avian flu is not infrequently identified among wild waterfowl in the US, again with no known human infections. In this situation, the risk of human infection is likely extremely low.