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Avian Influenza

White roosterAvian influenza is a virus that affects bird populations. There are many different strains of avian influenza that cause varying degrees of illness in birds. The most common types of avian influenza are routinely detected in wild birds and cause little concern. Highly pathogenic strains of avian influenza are of greater concern because they are easily spread among birds and are typically deadly to domesticated poultry.

Reporting Sick or Dead Farm Birds:

If domestic poultry or other farm birds exhibit signs of avian influenza (ranging from sneezing, coughing and ruffled feathers to sudden and high numbers of bird losses), bird owners should consult their local veterinary professional and notify state or federal animal health officials. Nationally, sick or dead farm birds can be reported to USDA toll-free at 1-866-536-7593, or in Tennessee, contact the State Veterinarian’s Office at 615-837-5120.

Avian Influenza in Tennessee

March 20, 2017 - UPDATE from the TN Department of Agriculture:

  • All samples from poultry within the surveillance zones continue to test negative for avian influenza.
  • Unless there are new developments in Tennessee's avian influenza situation, this post will conclude the daily updates.
     

March 17, 2017 - UPDATE from the TN Department of Agriculture:

  • Depopulation is complete on 2nd Lincoln County, TN HPAI location.
  • Surveillance in the control zone continues.
  • Testing from recent surveillance has been negative.
  • Unless there are significant changes over the weekend, the avian influenza updates will continue on Monday.
     

March 16, 2017 - UPDATE from the TN Department of Agriculture:

Tennessee Press Release - Second Case of HPAI Detected in Lincoln County

USDA APHIS Announcement

VIDEO:  Dr. Charles Hatcher - Second Lincoln County HPAI Detection

PHOTOS:  Avian Influenza laboratory photos

  • H7N9 highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI)  has sickened a second commercial chicken breeder flock within the existing controlled quarantined zone in Lincoln County, Tenn.
  • Monitoring of all flocks in the control zone is ongoing.
  • A poultry health advisory remains in effect.
  • The state veterinarian advises against transporting or commingling poultry. Sales, shows and exhibitions should be avoided. To keep your birds healthy keep them at home.
     

March 15, 2017 - UPDATE from the TN Department of Agriculture:

Tennessee Press Release - State Veterinarian Issues Poultry Health Advisory
 

March 14, 2017 - UPDATE from the TN Department of Agriculture:

  • All samples from poultry within the surveillance areas in Giles and Lincoln Counties continue to test negative for H5/H7 avian influenza.
  • Surveillance testing of backyard flocks continues in Giles and Lincoln counties.

VIDEO:  Healthy Flocks Rock - USDA's Healthy Harry talks backyard bird health
 

March 13, 2017 - UPDATE from the TN Department of Agriculture:

  • All samples from poultry within the surveillance areas in Giles and Lincoln Counties have tested negative for H5/H7 avian influenza.
  • Surveillance testing of backyard flocks continues in Giles and Lincoln counties.

March 10, 2017 - UPDATE from the TN Department of Agriculture:

  • All test samples within the surveillance area in Giles County have tested negative for LPAI.
  • Surveillance testing of backyard flocks continues in both Giles and Lincoln counties.
  • The Kord Animal Health Diagnostic Lab will continue to run tests on poultry in the surveillance areas throughout the weekend.
  • Unless there are significant changes over the weekend, the avian influenza updates will continue on Monday.

March 9, 2017 - UPDATE from the TN Department of Agriculture:

Tennessee Press Release - Poultry Flock Tests Positive for Low Pathogenic Avian Influenza
VIDEO:  Dr. Charles Hatcher - Giles County Detection
VIDEO:  Dr. Bruce McLaughlin - Poultry Sample Testing Procedures

CDC Press Release - Outbreak of North American avian influenza A(H7N9) in poultry poses low risk to people

  • Low pathogenic avian influenza (LPAI) detected at a commercial poultry breeding facility in Giles County. (see link to press release, above)
  • Premises is under quarantine.
  • The primary difference between LPAI and HPAI is mortality rate in domesticated poultry.
  • With LPAI, domesticated chickens and turkeys may show little or no signs of illness. However, HPAI is often fatal for domesticated poultry.
  • No additional poultry within the Lincoln County or Giles County surveillance areas have shown signs of illness.
  • All samples from poultry within the surveillance areas have tested negative for avian influenza.
  • Testing of backyard poultry flocks that live near the sites continues.
  • There is no risk to the food supply and little to no risk to human health.

March 8, 2017 - UPDATE from the TN Department of Agriculture:

  • No additional poultry within the surveillance area have shown signs of illness.
  • All samples from poultry within the surveillance area have tested negative for HPAI.
  • The surveillance area is a 10 mile radius of the affected facility.
  • The control/quarantine zone is a 10 km radius of the affected facility.
  • For testing of backyard poultry flocks, only those within the control/quarantine zone will be sampled.
  • The investigation continues to determine the source of the virus.

March 7, 2017 - UPDATE from TN Department of Agriculture:

  • USDA’s National Veterinary Services Laboratories (NVSL) confirms the virus that affected the Lincoln County, Tenn. facility is H7N9, of North American wild bird lineage (please see press release, linked below).
  • This is NOT the same as the China H7N9 virus affecting Asia. This virus is genetically distinct from the China H7N9 lineage.
  • No additional poultry within the surveillance area have shown signs of illness.
  • All samples from poultry within the surveillance area have tested negative for HPAI.
  • The surveillance area is a 10 mile radius of the affected facility.
  • The control/quarantine zone is a 10 km radius of the affected facility.
  • The control/quarantine zone includes approximately 50 other commercial poultry houses.
  • For testing of backyard poultry flocks, only those within the control/quarantine zone will be sampled.
  • The investigation continues to determine the source of the virus.

USDA Press Release - USDA Issues Update on Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza in Tennessee

March 6, 2017 - VIDEO:  Press Conference at Ellington Agricultural Center
                              VIDEO:  C.E. Kord Diagnostics Lab

March 5, 2017 - Detection in Lincoln County
Tennessee Press Release - Virus Deadly to Poultry Detected in Tennessee
USDA Press Release - USDA Confirms Highly Pathogenic H7 Avian Influenza in a Commercial Flock in Tennessee
VIDEO:  Dr. Charles Hatcher Comments (Part 1)
VIDEO:  Dr. Charles Hatcher Comments (Part 2)

Resources for Poultry Owners

USDA APHIS Avian Influenza Website
Biosecurity for Birds
Biosecurity for Pet Birds
Biosecurity in 6 Simple Steps
Understanding the Response Process
What to Expect if You Suspect
All In or All Gone - Protect Your Farm. Protect Your Livelihood.
UT Extension - Avian Influenza
 

Information for Consumers

Guidance from the Centers for Disease Control:

  • As a general precaution, people should avoid wild birds and observe them only from a distance; avoid contact with domestic birds (poultry) that appear ill or have died; and avoid contact with surfaces that appear to be contaminated with feces from wild or domestic birds.
  • People who have had contact with infected bird(s) should monitor their own health for possible symptoms (for example, conjunctivitis, or flu-like symptoms).
  • People who have had contact with infected birds may also be given influenza antiviral drugs preventatively.
  • Health care providers evaluating patients with possible HPAI H5 infection should notify their local or state health departments which in turn should notify CDC. CDC is providing case-by-case guidance at this time.
  • There is no evidence that any human cases of avian influenza have ever been acquired by eating properly cooked poultry products.

Avian Influenza in Companion Animals (dogs, cats and pet birds)

Related Links

Tennessee Poultry Association
National Poultry Improvement Plan
U.S. Poultry & Egg Association