Medical

USA bird flu cases have local farmers on guard

USA bird flu cases have local farmers on guard”

The state veterinarian's office is collecting reports of sick birds after a strain of bird flu has been identified in the United States.

A flock of chickens at a commercial poultry breeding farm in Giles County, in Middle Tennessee, has tested positive for low pathogenic avian influenza, the state confirmed Tuesday. The Giles County outbreak is the second outbreak of the year to involve a low-pathogenic strain; earlier this week federal health officials said H5N2 was found in an outbreak involving a commercial turkey farm in Barron County, Wis.

A turkey farm in Wisconsin also reported a less serious case of bird flu, but it didn't require the culling of an entire flock. In Lincoln County, all 73,500 birds there were killed by the disease or suffocated with foam to prevent its spread.

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"These virus strains can travel in wild birds without them appearing sick", the USDA said.

The Oklahoma Department of Agriculture officials have reacted quickly.

As a precaution, the affected flock was depopulated and buried.

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For farmers, biosecurity is a preventative approach used to minimize the introduction or spread of disease-causing organisms like viruses or bacteria. No affected animals have entered the food chain, and the risk of a human becoming ill with avian influenza during poultry outbreaks is very low.

Both cases in Tennessee were located along the state's southern border near Alabama, one of the country's top producers of "broiler" chickens for meat. "If HPAI does arrive, the potential impact is severe, so we stress immediate reporting of any unexplained poultry mortality". Although the 2015 virus hasn't shown up in a poultry flock recently, tests in the last six months did find the bug in wild ducks in the U.S.

H7N9 is the same name as a strain of the virus that has killed people in China.

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Don't borrow disease-Do not share equipment or supplies with neighbors or other bird owners. He recommended chicken owners who have been around wild birds or other poultry change or disinfect their footwear before interacting with their own flock.



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