USDA Confirms Bird Flu Found at Tennessee Chicken Farm

by Noah Mcgee March 8, 2017, 0:40
USDA Confirms Bird Flu Found at Tennessee Chicken Farm

As for Wisconsin, only poultry meat is banned from being sold to Taiwan, because it is listed as an area infected with low pathogenic H5 bird flu viruses, Shih said.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture and its state counterparts in DE and Maryland have urged growers to increase security to prevent visitors or wild birds from coming into contact with their chicken flock.

Tyson, however, downplayed the effect of the confirmed case of avian flu to its supply. More than 414,000 turkeys and chickens were euthanized to contain the outbreak.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture said it was the first confirmed case of the viral infection this year.

An avian flu outbreak could be devastating to Delaware's economy. The farm housed roosters and hens that produce fertilized eggs which hatch into "broiler" chickens raised for their meat. Minnesota, the country's top turkey producer, and Iowa, the top chicken-egg producer, were the hardest-hit states.

Post the detection of the bird flu, the second biggest egg producer in the US i.e.

The facility, located in Lincoln County and an outgrower of Tyson Foods Inc., was not named. "It's always a concern and we are always trying to implement practices to prevent it from coming here".

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The strain that struck the Tennessee had a North American wild bird lineage, according to the USDA.

Hickey said they are taking precautions.

Tyson said other precautions it is now taking include barring visitors from accessing the farm and disinfecting all vehicles entering the area. The company manages all the commercial facilities in the region, she said. "Tyson Foods employees who come in contact with live birds have received additional training specifically created to help protect against the spread of avian influenza and we frequently communicate additional biosecurity guidance to the farmers who grow for our company". The Tennessee Department of Agriculture said it is assessing whether the virus could be the A (H7N9) strain that has infected hundreds of people in China or another bird flu strain. Already, several countries in Asia said they would limit imports of USA poultry.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, HPAI can cause up to 100 percent mortality in flocks, often within 48 hours.

Dr. William Schaffner, an infectious disease expert at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, who consulted with the Tennessee Department of Health, agreed that the virus is unlikely to spread widely among people in the US due to the nature of the virus and the fact that people rarely interact with live poultry. Illnesses in humans have ranged from mild to severe, the CDC has said.

Symptoms of avian flu include fever, cough, sore throat and sometimes severe respiratory diseases and pneumonia.

Officials with Tyson said they are working with state and federal officials to ensure their products are safe for people to eat and have not yet issued a recall for any of their products in connection with this announcement.

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