U.S. confirms bird flu on poultry farm

USDA Confirms Bird Flu Found at Tennessee Chicken Farm

This is the first case of highly pathogenic H7 avian influenza found in the U.S. this year, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

While the outbreak is only Tennessee right now, farmers like Hickey said it's still risky because they could lose everything.

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.

State officials are directing MI poultry producers to follow their bird flu prevention procedures.

Bird flu rarely infects people unless they are in extremely close proximity to poultry and the virus does not spread easily or at all from person to person. This included both Alabama and Georgia.

Strains of influenza A are generally identified by two types of proteins they carry on their surface, the neuraminidase (N) and hemagglutinin (H) proteins. However, health officials have confirmed that the risk of the disease spreading to people or food is minimal.

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Pilgrim's Pride Corp, the world's second-largest chicken producer, said it "immediately activated AI response plans and heightened on-farm biosecurity programs at all Pilgrim's facilities" in response to the case.

As a result of the situation, Sanderson Farms which even though does not have any operations in Tennessee, has debarred any company vehicles from going near the quarantined areas. Other flocks in the quarantined area are being tested, it added.

In 2014, a man in Alberta, Canada, died from bird flu.

Get free real-time news alerts from the Nashville Patch. "We cannot keep the waterfowl from coming to Georgia, but we can keep them and this virus from getting into our domestic poultry by practicing strong biosecurity".

Jack Shere, the department's top veterinarian, said in an interview on the department's website that the first signs of avian influenza in a Lincoln County, Tenn., chicken farm were noticed on Thursday.

An avian flu outbreak could be devastating to Delaware's economy. Strategies implemented by many organic chicken producers, for example, such as access to the outdoors, low densities, and adequate lighting, are necessary to raise chickens and other food animals in the most healthy, safe, and sustainable manner.

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