Tennessee reports another outbreak of bird flu near state line

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Tennessee reports another outbreak of bird flu near state line

Asian countries like South Korea, Japan, Taiwan and Hong Kong have limited their imports of U.S poultry after the first case of bird flu was detected.

A second outbreak of bird flu has been identified in Middle Tennessee as the state veterinarian confirmed a flock of chickens at a commercial poultry breeding operation in Giles County tested positive for low pathogenic avian influenza.

US officials are working to determine how the Tennessee farm, which was a supplier to Tyson Foods Inc, became infected. The appearance of milder forms of bird flu at a Wisconsin turkey farm and another Tennessee chicken farm has heightened concern. Digital Journal reported on March 7 that the Lincoln County farm had to destroy 73,500 birds, while a turkey farm in Wisconsin had to put down 84,000 birds because they were infected with a Low Pathogenic strain of the H5N2 avian flu virus.

Both types of the virus occur naturally in wild birds, who carry the virus without getting sick.

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Symptoms of HPAI in poultry include coughing, swollen face, mucus discharge from nose and eyes, depression, marked loss of appetite, drop in egg production and sudden death in multiple birds in a very short amount of time.

Alabama Department of Agriculture Commissioner John McMillan said the state continues to monitor the situation through Tennessee and federal officials, as well as with the poultry industry. LPH will then conduct immediate testing to confirm the disease and to depopulate and safely dispose of infected flocks if necessary.

It is the second case of bird flu reported at a USA commercial poultry operation in the last week. Most of the recommendations are simple and have the objective of preventing commercial poultry or backyard chickens from being exposed to migratory wild waterfowl that may carry the virus. 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. "If HPAI does arrive, the potential impact is severe, so we stress immediate reporting of any unexplained poultry mortality". "Each year, our four diagnostic labs located in Alabama test over 400,000 blood samples for avian influenza for this very goal". "We cannot keep the waterfowl from coming to Georgia, but we can keep them and their virus from getting into our domestic poultry by practicing strong biosecurity". It said all eight gene segments of the virus had North American wild bird lineage.

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