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Avian flu detected at Wisconsin farm, 2nd case in US

Avian flu detected at Wisconsin farm, 2nd case in US

The USDA's chief veterinary officer, Jack Shere, said on Thursday that the agency only has $80 million to $90 million left over from the last major outbreak of bird flu to fight any new discoveries of the virus popping up this year. Neither outbreaks pose a risk to the food supply.

On March 6, routine screening tests at the Giles County location showed the presence of bird flu in the flock. Other signs include coughing, sneezing, nasal discharge, lack of coordination or paralysis, diarrhea, particularly green in color, ruffled feathers, lethargic and poor appetite, and drop in egg production or softshell or misshapen eggs. Working with USDA and state health, emergency, agriculture and wildlife departments, LPH has developed plans for the prevention, detection and, if necessary, response to the disease.

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.

Those same poultry producers are on-guard as more than 73-thousand chickens were destroyed since the weekend outbreak of highly-pathogenic avian influenza at a Tennessee farm.




The Giles County flock was killed and buried, and the farm remains under quarantine, as does the Lincoln County farm.

Both cases in Tennessee were located along the state's southern border near Alabama, one of the country's top producers of "broiler" chickens for meat. "We urge our backyard growers to practice extreme caution during this period of heightened alert and consider moving poultry with outside access into biosecure housing immediately". No affected animals have entered the food chain, and the risk of a human becoming ill with avian influenza during poultry outbreaks is very low.

H7N9 is the same name as a strain of the virus that has killed people in China. If they carried a virus from their winter grounds, other birds could carry it to Minnesota. Wild waterfowl can harbor the Avian Influenza virus without getting sick.

"It's important for owners to know what healthy birds look like and monitor birds for signs and symptoms of disease", Parr said.

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