Avian Influenza Outbreak Poses Low Risk to People — CDC

A turkey farm in Wisconsin also reported a less serious case of bird flu, but it didn't require the culling of an entire flock.

"After a year reprieve, high-path avian influenza is back in the lower 48 states at a commercial poultry operation, and that should be a cause for concern", said Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding. The Georgia Department of Agriculture continues to be vigilant in surveillance efforts and working with growers in their practice of bio-security measures. The farm has been quarantined and any poultry within a 6.2-mile radius of the affected farm have been put under quarantine and are being tested and monitored, reports the Times Free Press. "That fast response is critical to stopping the spread of this virus".

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Wild birds can transmit avian influenza to domesticated birds in both commercial operations and backyard flocks, said Dr. Lew Strickland, extension veterinarian with the University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture. The facility was going through routine testing this week which revealed a low pathogenic strain, believed to be unrelated to last weekend's outbreak in Lincoln County. "We've posted a generic form on our website to help poultry owners - large and small - to develop their own flock plan in case of an emergency like this". "If HPAI does arrive, the potential impact is severe, so we stress immediate reporting of any unexplained poultry mortality".

Don't borrow disease-Do not share equipment or supplies with neighbors or other bird owners.

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In a related development, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on Mar 8 said it is working with federal and state officials to minimize any human health risks posed by the outbreak developments. "Wild waterfowl are natural carriers of the virus and are now migrating north". Most involved strains that were low risks for human health, but the sheer number of different types, and their simultaneous presence in so many parts of the world, has increased the risk of viruses mixing and mutating - and possibly jumping to people, according to disease experts.

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