Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Low-risk avian flu confirmed in Alabama, Kentucky

Avian flu was confirmed in Christian
County, Kentucky (Wikipedia map)
A strain of avian flu, not as serious as one found in Tennessee this month, has been detected in Alabama and Kentucky.

The National Veterinary Services Laboratory confirmed the presence of H7N9 low-pathogenic avian influenza in samples taken from a farm in Christian County, resulting in 22,000 chickens being killed, said the Kentucky Department of Agriculture. KDA notes, "Low-pathogenic avian influenza may cause no disease or mild illness," compared to highly pathogenic avian influenza, which "can cause severe disease with high mortality."

Earlier this month about 73,500 birds at a farm outside Fayetteville, Tenn., the produces chickens for Tyson Foods had to be culled in response to an outbreak of avian flu. That was the first reported case of the disease this year. There was only one reported case of bird flu in 2016.

Avian flu was confirmed in
Scottsboro, Ala. (Best Places map)
Avian flu is suspected in three Alabama counties, but so far confirmed in just one, William Thornton reports for Alabama Media Group. The Alabama Department of Agriculture confirmed H7N9 in Scottsboro in Jackson County, and is awaiting results from a breeder in Lauderdale County and a backyard flock in Madison County. About 15,000 chickens were killed in Lauderdale County, while the Madison County owner requested his entire flock, whose numbers were not reported, to be culled. The entire flock in Jackson County also was killed. (So was the flock in Kentucky.)

"State officials say this suspected strain of avian influenza does not pose a risk to the food supply, and no affected animals entered the food chain," Thornton reports. "The risk of human infection with avian influenza during poultry outbreaks is very low."

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