There is a new virus that is surfacing in Tennessee that may shock a few people. The Avian flu outbreak has moved across Asia in the past months and has many people concerned.
The Tennessee Department of Agriculture confirmed on March 6 that close to 74,000 chickens from a commercial farm in Lincoln County were selected and taken after testing positive for the avian influenza (HPAI).
The U.S. Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released a report that found increases in the activity in China and Hong Kong that led to 460 human infections. The virus found in Tennessee has been named the H7 virus and has most likely spread from wild birds in North America, according to ABC News.
The virus is said to have reached a farm in Southern Tennessee that is linked to Tyson Foods. About 73,500 birds were taken and The Department of Agriculture hasn’t fully identified the specific H7 virus that was found at the farm. The U.S.D.A. established a quarantine on chicken farms around the area and Tyson stated that they were testing their chickens to determine if the disease has spread. An epidemic of the avian flu led to 48 million chickens and turkeys being culled from late 2014 to mid- 2015 according to NY Times.
Tyson company stated “a bird health issue is not a food safety or human health concern” and added that “there’s no evidence to suggest that any form of avian influenza can be transmitted to humans from properly cooked poultry,” according to NY Times.
When asked if he had heard about the the outbreak, East Forsyth student Josh Wiley (’18) said no, he didn’t know anything about the bird flu at all. Wiley feels that the farmers should send the chickens to the vet to get checked and should make sure everything is good before sending them out to the companies. He also stated that he hopes they figure out a vaccine that will help prevent it.
This new virus has definitely struck the attention of many farms and they are taking the right precautions to make sure that the disease isn’t continuing to spread. Hopefully they will have it fixed very soon and we can go back to eating chicken peacefully.
So don’t let it ruffle your feathers, but continue to keep a lookout for updates on this disease.