The United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) and Tennessee state veterinarian have 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.

“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.”

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 A-I 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.

Facebook

Comments Box SVG iconsUsed for the like, share, comment, and reaction icons

Join NAGA President Peg Ballou for this important broadcast on ways to discourage waterfowl and other birds from congregating on your farm or club. Your participation is requested with ideas on products, procedures and plans to share with other industry members. ... See MoreSee Less

Comment on Facebook

Websites that hold this kind of product are not endorsed or necessarily recommended, but the content is here to help you find products that may help deter nondesired birds from remaining around your area. Birdsbgone Laserbird Wildgoosechase Birdbarrier Agrilaser.

Additionally, I mentioned spikes on your posts, owl or swan decoys to deter birds congregating around pens. The swan decoys float in the pond and the incoming ducks and geese stay away. Apparently Swans don't play well with others. Huh, who knew?

And a better one of the metal spinner.

This is the tape I mentioned. Kinda like a mylar bag sliced into strips.

Hey, gang, I am attaching some pictures that wouldn't show on the livestream. This is one of the metal spinners I was talking about.

My problem is starlings and sparrows coming through the 2” net

View more comments

2 months ago
North American Gamebird Association

Join NAGA President Peg Ballou, Executive Director Rob Sexton and Abby Shuft with an update on the avian influenza situation and how it affects us right now, this summer, even though it is not front line in the press. ... See MoreSee Less

2 months ago
North American Gamebird Association

Amazing recorded session with Chef Alfonso of Hocking Hills College in Ohio at the North American Gamebird Association Hunting Club Conference. If you didn't attend, you missed a great time! This next to the last session whetted our appetites and culinary desires. Plan to attend our next event. ... See MoreSee Less

2 months ago
North American Gamebird Association

Chef Alfonso Contrisciani, CMC, AAC cooks pheasant for the NAGA Hunting Club Conference attendees! ... See MoreSee Less

Instagram