WASHINGTON — The USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service 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 in a flock of 73,500 breeding broiler chickens.
It is not the same as the China H7N9 virus that has impacted poultry and infected humans in Asia, nor is it related to the virus that caused the 2015 U.S. outbreak.
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.
In 2015, an avian influenza outbreak triggered the destruction of millions of chickens and turkeys in the Midwest.
The USDA also said a flock of 84,000 turkeys at a Jennie-O Turkey Store farm near Barron, Wisconsin, had been confirmed with a low pathogenic H5N2 virus. The USDA stressed it was different from the highly pathogenic H5N2 virus that devastated the Midwest chicken egg and turkey industry in 2015.
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 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 degrees F. kills bacteria and viruses.
Affects all poultry
Avian influenza (AI) is caused by an influenza type A virus that 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.