Bird flu found on Tyson contracted farm in Tennessee

Bird flu found on Tyson contracted farm in Tennessee

Bird flu found on Tyson contracted farm in Tennessee

This past weekend, the U.S. Department of Agriculture confirmed it had detected a strain of highly pathogenic avian influenza, or HPAI, in a commercial flock of chicken on a south Tennessee farm.

Officials in Alabama are closely monitoring poultry operations here after thousands of chickens in Lincoln County, Tennessee, were destroyed after avian influenza was found in a commercial breeder flock.

It's the first confirmed bird flu case at a commercial farm this year.

HPAI does not pose a threat to the food supply, and no affected animals entered the food chain, the statement said. The farm in Tennessee's Lincoln County, along with almost 30 other farms in 6.2 mile radius, has been placed under quarantine. The company said that it doesn't expect its chicken business to be disrupted, but the outbreak sent jitters through Wall Street.

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The U.S. has stepped up biosecurity measures aimed at preventing the spread of bird flu after the outbreak two years ago.

Sanderson Farms Inc, the third-largest USA poultry producer, cracked down on the movement of people and vehicles into its facilities, said Mike Cockrell, chief financial officer. The USDA report said 84,000 birds are at the farm.

The virus found in Tennessee has been identified as an H7 virus, most likely spread from wild birds in North America.

The company said it tests all of its flocks for the virus before they leave the farm "out of an abundance of caution".

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The highly pathogenic form of the virus can be deadly to domesticated chickens and turkeys.

"With this [bird flu] detection, we are moving quickly and aggressively to prevent the virus from spreading", state veterinarian Dr. Charles Hatcher said. Shere said it's possible the birds could have contracted the flu from a nearby pond where migrating water fowl were known to visit.

"We have never had a case of high path avian influenza in domestic poultry in the better part of a decade in the state of MI..."

Officials with the USDA said while the risk of a person dying from bird flu is low, it can happen and they stress people should not handle sick or dead poultry without taking proper precautions like avoiding skin to skin contact.

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