SEATTLE (AP) — Federal and state officials are testing wild birds in Washington state to see how far a type of avian influenza has spread.

Separate strains of the H5 virus were identified in a wild duck and a captive gyrfalcon in northwest Washington state this month. Neither virus has been found in commercial poultry in the U.S.

Don Kraege, with the state Department of Fish and Wildlife, says officials are taking swabs from about 600 ducks and other waterfowl that are taken by hunters. They’re focusing in Whatcom, Skagit, Snohomish, Thurston and Clark counties.

State officials say the virus poses no apparent threat to humans, but highly pathogenic strains can be deadly to domestic poultry, and rarely, wild birds.

 

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

 

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