Low-path avian influenza indicated on Lincoln County poultry farm
Posted: Tuesday, May 12, 2009 8:01 pm
NASHVILLE — State and federal authorities are responding to an indication of low-pathogenic avian influenza on a single farm in Lincoln County in Middle Tennessee.
The strain poses minimal risk to human health and is not the high-pathogenic strain associated with human and poultry outbreaks in other countries. Nor is it related to the novel H1N1 flu virus, commonly referred to as swine flu.
On May 1, preliminary test results during routine industry surveillance indicated the possibility of an avian influenza virus. Subsequent testing by USDA’s National Veterinary Services Laboratory in Ames, Iowa indicates an exposure to the H7 strain of low-pathogenic avian influenza.
This is the same strain identified on a poultry farm in Giles County recently. At this time, there is no apparent connection between the two farms. Surveillance for the disease in other area flocks around the Giles County farm so far has been negative, according to state animal health officials.
Avian influenza, commonly referred to as bird flu, is naturally occurring in the environment and circulates among wild birds, especially waterfowl. Although low-pathogenic avian influenza causes little illness and is typically not fatal to birds, it can sometime cause slight illness or a loss of production in domesticated poultry.
As part of routine procedures, animal health officials with the Tennessee Department of Agriculture have restricted movement of birds on the affected farm and are currently considering additional surveillance on backyard and commercial flocks in the area.
Currently, there are no indications of exposure to other area farms.
The affected farm produces breeding stock used in the poultry industry, and no birds have entered the human food supply. Avian influenza is not transmitted through poultry meat or eggs, which are safe to consume with regular proper handling and preparation.
For more information on avian influenza in poultry, visit the Tennessee Department of Agriculture’s Web site at http://www.TN.gov/agriculture/regulatory/birdflu.html.
Published in The Messenger 5.12.09