Bird flu detected in chicken breeding facility in Tennessee

Tabitha Dunn
March 7, 2017

"We're responding aggressively, and are working with state and federal officials to contain the virus by euthanizing chickens located on the farm", Tyson said.

The 2015 outbreak sent egg prices soaring and led to significant increases in chicken, turkey and other poultry prices.

Tyson Foods said the farm is owned by an individual who contracts with the company. At least 30 other poultry farms surrounding the Tennessee facility, contracted by food giant Tyson Farms, within a six-mile radius have been placed under a precautionary quarantine and are in the process of being tested as well.

Maryland Agriculture Secretary Joe Bartenfelder says Tennessee's outbreak is proof that avian flu can strike without notice.

Though some HPAI strains can be much more serious for a person to catch, they generally aren't easily spreadable between people, and even bird-to-human transmission tends to require close, prolonged contact.

No humans were affected in that outbreak.

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More information should be made available Monday evening by the USDA, about the strain of the virus that is involved, spokeswoman Donna Karlsons said by email. South Korea's agriculture ministry said Monday it banned shipments of poultry and eggs from the US unless they've been heat treated.

The statement said the most recent USA detection of HPAI was in January 2016 in a commercial turkey flock in Indiana.

"Animal health is our top priority", said state veterinarian Dr. Charles Hatcher. The Korean agriculture ministry also prohibits chicken meat imports from overseas countries except for Brazil, Chile, the Philippines, Australia, Canada, and Thailand.

Tyson said other precautions it is now taking include barring visitors from accessing the farm and disinfecting all vehicles entering the area.

France, which has the largest poultry flock in the European Union, has reported outbreaks of the highly contagious H5N8 bird flu virus.

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.

Other reports by Guamnewswatch

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