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Press Releases

March 6, 2017
USDA Confirms Highly Pathogenic H7 Avian Influenza in a Commercial Flock in Tennessee
Virginia urges strict biosecurity to protect the state’s commercial birds and backyard flocks
Contact: Contact: Elaine Lidholm, 804.786.7686

The United States Department of Agriculture has confirmed the presence of highly pathogenic H7 avian influenza (HPAI) of North American wild bird lineage in a commercial chicken breeder flock in Lincoln County, TN. This strain is not a concern for human health. The flock of 73,500 is located within the Mississippi flyway. State officials quarantined the affected premises and birds on the property were depopulated to prevent the spread of the disease. Birds from the flock will not enter the food system.

Dr. Charles Broaddus, State Veterinarian with the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS), advises bird owners to protect their flocks by the following:

  • Practice biosecurity every day – diseases are often spread by animals, equipment or clothing, so focusing on these areas can reduce the chance of infection. This is the time to take all measures possible to prevent the spread of disease.
  • Prevent poultry from accessing areas where waterfowl may be present and minimize the chance of spreading disease from tracking infectious waterfowl droppings into poultry housing areas.
  • Wear separate, clean footwear and clothing used just in the poultry area when working with your birds.
  • Don’t share any equipment between flocks.
  • Don’t move birds between flocks.  For backyard poultry owners who obtain new birds, isolate them for two weeks and monitor them for disease signs before adding to your flock.
  • Report any signs of sickness in birds or increased deaths in your flock to VDACS.

For more information about biosecurity measures and plans, or to report increased poultry mortality, flock owners should contact the VDACS State Veterinarian’s Office at 804.692.0601 or their local Office of Veterinary Services at one of the Regional Animal Health Diagnostic Laboratories. Go to vdacs.virginia.gov and click on the biosecurity button on the rotating slide show – slides change every five seconds - or type “biosecurity” in the search bar. To review biosecurity actions, go to uspoultry.org/animal_husbandry/intro.cfm.


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