Bird flu outbreak hits Tyson chicken supplier

Bird flu outbreak hits Tyson chicken supplier

On Sunday, March 5, the U.S. Department of Agriculture shared that the Tennessee farm which was affected by the virus, supplies to Tyson Food Inc.

Tennessee officials placed the Tyson facility on quarantine, plus 30 other poultry farms within a 6.2-mile radius of the farm.

Tyson Foods said it was "responding aggressively" to the outbreak and was working with state and federal officials to contain the virus by culling the flock.

It's the first confirmed case of the highly pathogenic H7 avian influenza this year.

Tennessee borders several of the nation's largest chicken- meat-producing states, including Georgia, Alabama, Arkansas and North Carolina. The turkey flock was tested after numerous birds showed signs of depression and the infected farm was immediately quarantined. Growers are encouraged to properly suit up before they enter a chicken house, and ensure the chickens do not come in contact with people or birds who don't belong on the firm.

It is the first confirmed case of the HPAI detected in commercial poultry in the United States so far this year.

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The strain of bird flu involved is the same that struck Midwestern poultry farms in 2015, hitting Minnesota and Iowa particularly hard and killing 48 million birds. State officials quarantined the affected premises and birds on the property will be depopulated to prevent the spread of the disease.

Like a diseased phoenix rising from the soot, the virus that causes an deadly and fast-spreading form of bird flu has returned to the USA this year. The news release noted that none of the affected animals have entered the food chain and that the risk of human infection is now very low.

In January 2016, a commercial turkey farm in Dubois County, Indiana, tested positive for the H7N8 strain of avian influenza. Shere said it's possible the birds could have contracted the flu from a nearby pond where migrating water fowl were known to visit.

While the outbreak is only Tennessee right now, farmers like Hickey said it's still unsafe because they could lose everything.

In the United Kingdom, an outbreak of bird flu last week led to the culling of more than 55,000 ducks believed to be infected.

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