PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — The Oregon Department of Agriculture is providing tips on keeping backyard flocks safe as a highly contagious strain of bird flu sweeps through chickens in North Carolina.

The Oregon Department of Agriculture says these bird flu’s naturally happen all the time.

With the migration patterns of birds, it likely wouldn’t affect the Pacific Northwest until late summer, if at all.

Still, the department warns the best thing you can do is keep your backyard chickens away from other wild birds.

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“So in backyard flocks, making sure you don’t have a pond there that’s attracting ducks and geese. If you go to a city park where there’s lots of ducks and geese changing your boots, washing your hands, changing your clothes before you go back out and work with your domestic poultry. Just to keep that added layer of separation there,” Dr. Ryan. Scholz, state veterinarian with the Oregon Department of Agriculture said.

The department says there is no real threat to humans. Even if you have a bird with the flu, normal cooking of eggs and chickens will kill the virus before eating.