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HPAI H7N9 Spreads To Neighboring Tennessee Farm

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Second Case of HPAI Detected in Lincoln County

Thursday, March 16, 2017 | 9:10am

NASHVILLE — The state veterinarian confirms that a strain of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) has sickened a second commercial chicken breeder flock within the existing controlled quarantined zone in Lincoln County, Tenn.

On March 14, samples taken from the flock tested positive for avian influenza. Following federal laboratory confirmation of H7N9 HPAI, officials began depopulation of the affected premises.

This particular strain of avian influenza is the same that affected a commercial chicken flock earlier this month in Lincoln County. The two premises are less than two miles apart. Due to that close proximity, operators at the second premises were closely monitoring and regularly testing poultry for signs of avian influenza. The swift detection enabled immediate response.

- See more at: https://www.tn.gov/agriculture/news/49265#sthash.Z55vxdth.dpuf

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Second Case of HPAI Detected in Lincoln County

Thursday, March 16, 2017 | 9:10am

NASHVILLE — The state veterinarian confirms that a strain of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) has sickened a second commercial chicken breeder flock within the existing controlled quarantined zone in Lincoln County, Tenn.

On March 14, samples taken from the flock tested positive for avian influenza. Following federal laboratory confirmation of H7N9 HPAI, officials began depopulation of the affected premises.

This particular strain of avian influenza is the same that affected a commercial chicken flock earlier this month in Lincoln County. The two premises are less than two miles apart. Due to that close proximity, operators at the second premises were closely monitoring and regularly testing poultry for signs of avian influenza. The swift detection enabled immediate response.

“Wild birds can carry this strain of avian influenza.” State Veterinarian Dr. Charles Hatcher said. “Given the close proximity of the two premises, this is not unexpected. We will continue to execute our plan, working quickly to prevent the virus from spreading further.”

On March 4, the first confirmed detection of H7N9 HPAI occurred in a commercial poultry flock in Lincoln County. On March 8, a commercial poultry flock in Giles County tested positive for H7N9 low pathogenic avian influenza (LPAI). Due to the contagious nature of avian influenza and its threat to domesticated poultry, the best way to contain the virus is to depopulate affected flocks and then disinfect affected premises.

Neither HPAI nor LPAI pose a risk to the food supply. No affected animals entered the food chain. Furthermore, the Tennessee Department of Health confirms that the risk of a human becoming ill with avian influenza during poultry illness incidents is very low. This virus is not the same as the China H7N9 virus affecting Asia and is genetically distinct.

The primary difference between LPAI and HPAI is mortality rate in domesticated poultry. A slight change to the viral structure can make a virus deadly for birds. Avian influenza virus strains often occur naturally in wild migratory birds without causing illness in those birds. With LPAI, domesticated chickens and turkeys may show little or no signs of illness. However, HPAI is often fatal for domesticated poultry.

State and federal officials continue to monitor and test poultry located in the areas immediately surrounding the three affected premises. No other flocks have shown signs of illness.

The state veterinarian has issued a poultry health advisory for Tennessee and recommends the following: 

  • Closely observe your poultry flock.
  • Report a sudden increase in the number of sick birds or bird deaths to the state veterinarian’s office at 615- 837-5120 and/or USDA at 1-866-536-7593.
  • Avoid transporting or commingling birds.
  • Avoid poultry exhibitions, shows or sales.
  • Prevent contact with wild birds.
  • Practice good biosecurity with your poultry.
  • Enroll in the National Poultry Improvement Plan.
  • Follow Tennessee’s avian influenza updates and access resources for producers and consumers.

The state veterinarian and staff are focused on animal health and disease prevention. Each year, the Kord Animal Health Diagnostic Laboratory tests approximately 22,000 samples from poultry for avian influenza. Since March 3, the lab has tested more than 1,500 samples.

- See more at: https://www.tn.gov/agriculture/news/49265#sthash.Z55vxdth.dpuf

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USDA Confirms Second Case of Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza in a Commercial Flock in Lincoln County, Tennessee

The United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) has confirmed a second case of highly pathogenic H7N9 avian influenza in a commercial breeder flock in Lincoln County, Tennessee. This H7N9 strain is of North American wild bird lineage and is the same strain of avian influenza that was previously confirmed in Tennessee.  It is NOT the same as the China H7N9 virus that has impacted poultry and infected humans in Asia.  The flock of 55,000 chickens is located in the Mississippi flyway, within three kilometers of the first Tennessee case.

Samples from the affected flock, which displayed signs of illness and experienced increased mortality, were tested at Tennessee’s Kord Animal Health Diagnostic Laboratory and confirmed at the APHIS National Veterinary Services Laboratories (NVSL) in Ames, Iowa.

 USDA is working with the Tennessee Department of Agriculture on the joint incident response. State officials quarantined the affected premises, and depopulation has begun.  Federal and State partners will conduct surveillance and testing of commercial and backyard poultry within a 10 kilometer (6.2 mile) radius of the site.

The United States has the strongest AI surveillance program in the world, and USDA works with its partners to actively look for the disease in commercial poultry operations, live bird markets and in migratory wild bird populations.

USDA will be informing the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) as well as international trading partners of this finding. USDA also continues to communicate with trading partners to encourage adherence to OIE standards and minimize trade impacts.

The Tennessee Department of Agriculture is working directly with poultry workers at the affected facilities to ensure that they are taking the proper precautions to prevent illness and contain disease spread. As a reminder, the proper handling and cooking of poultry and eggs to an internal temperature of 165 ˚F kills bacteria and viruses.

Wild waterfowl are natural hosts for avian influenza, including H5 and H7, and can shed the virus without appearing sick.  These low pathogenic viruses can mutate to highly pathogenic forms after introduction to poultry.  People should avoid contact with sick/dead poultry or wildlife. If contact occurs, wash your hands with soap and water and change clothing before having any contact with healthy domestic poultry and birds. 

All bird owners, whether commercial producers or backyard enthusiasts, should continue to practice good biosecurity, prevent contact between their birds and wild birds, and report sick birds or unusual bird deaths to State/Federal officials, either through their state veterinarian or through USDA’s toll-free number at 1-866-536-7593.  Additional information on biosecurity for commercial producers can be found at www.aphis.usda.gov/animalhealth/defendtheflock   Information for backyard producers can be found at https://www.aphis.usda.gov/aphis/ourfocus/animalhealth/animal-disease-information/avian-influenza-disease/birdbiosecurity.

Additional background Avian influenza (AI) is caused by an influenza type A virus which can infect poultry (such as chickens, turkeys, pheasants, quail, domestic ducks, geese and guinea fowl) and is carried by free flying waterfowl such as ducks, geese and shorebirds. AI viruses are classified by a combination of two groups of proteins: hemagglutinin or “H” proteins, of which there are 16 (H1–H16), and neuraminidase or “N” proteins, of which there are 9 (N1–N9). Many different combinations of “H” and “N” proteins are possible. Each combination is considered a different subtype, and can be further broken down into different strains. AI viruses are further classified by their pathogenicity (low or high)—the ability of a particular virus strain to produce disease in domestic chickens.

 

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Please share the following link with others who may be interested in these updates. Click here to subscribe to the VS Animal Health Stakeholder Registry. This link will also allow you to change or cancel your subscriptions.

https://content.govdelivery.com/accounts/USDAAPHIS/bulletins/18dd7dc

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TYSON FOODS STATEMENT ON AVIAN INFLUENZA IN TENNESSEE

Updated March 16, 2017
 

We addressed a case of avian influenza at a single breeder farm in Lincoln County, Tennessee on March 4, 2017. As part of the follow-up monitoring process, it was determined that a second, nearby farm also has been affected by the virus. The second farm also contracts with our company.
 

We’ve coordinated with the USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service and the Tennessee Department of Agriculture to quickly respond and euthanize the chickens on this farm to prevent the potential spread of disease. 
 

This a bird health issue and not a food safety or human health concern.
 

All flocks located within a six-mile radius of the original farm will be tested and will not be transported unless they test negative for the virus. We don’t expect disruptions to our chicken business and plan to meet our customers’ needs.
 

All of our U.S. poultry operations continue to operate under heightened biosecurity as a result of outbreaks that affected the poultry industry in the U.S. in 2015, and we continue to communicate best practices to all farmers who contract with us. 
 

Additional information about avian influenza is available from the USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Services and from the Tennessee Department of Agriculture

 

Media Contact: Worth Sparkman, 479-290-6358, worth.sparkman@tyson.com

http://www.tysonfoods.com/media/position-statements/avian-influenza-in-tennessee

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