VDACS urges biosecurity measures after avian flu found in Tennessee flock

U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) officials said last Sunday that a train of bird flu has been found on a commercial farm in Tennessee.

A year ago in June, South Korea resumed U.S. poultry imports after imposing a ban in early 2016 when a number of bird flu cases were detected in the United States.

This kind of bird flu doesn't pose a risk to the food supply, the Tennessee statement said, and the risk of human infection during bird flu outbreaks is low. The U.S. Department of Agriculture says the H5N2 strain found at the Wisconsin farm was determined to be from North American wild bird origin and distinct from the H5N2 found during the 2015 outbreak. "We don't expect disruptions to our chicken business and plan to meet our customers' needs", a spokesman for Tyson, the largest USA meat company by sales, told the Wall Street Journal. The farm had 73,500 birds, all of whom either died due to avian influenza (AI) or were suffocated through foam to counter the spread of the disease.

Another outbreak also means killing or culling of the birds.

Most people become infected with the virus after coming into contact with saliva or feces of the infected bird.

In Tennessee, poultry farmers are having to kill tens of thousands of chickens this week, after bird flu was discovered in a flock there.




A commercial Tyson farm in Alabama that borders Lincoln County tested negative, officials said in a news release.

HPAI is known to be deadly for domesticated chickens and turkeys.

"Should any flock be diagnosed with highly pathogenic avian influenza, farms are immediately quarantined and birds from them are not processed", Tyson stated.

Frazier and Tennessee State Veterinarian Dr. Charlie Hatcher encourages commercial poultry producers and backyard flock owners to observe their birds closely and continue to practice strict biosecurity measures.

According to the USDA, almost 73,000 chickens had to be euthanized at the Tennessee facility. "Nor is it the type that affected the Midwest in 2015", said Commissioner of Agriculture, Jai Templeton. According to the USDA, they identified the highly pathogenic H7 avian influenza (HPAI) strain.

According to the CDC, symptoms of avian flu include fever, cough, sore throat and pneumonia and while there are many strains, only the H5, H7 and H10 have been fatal in humans.

(Copyright © 2015. All Rights Reserved.)
 
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