On March 6, 2017, theUnited States Department of Agriculture’s(USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) announced a confirmed case of the presence of H7 avian influenza (HPAI) in a commercial chicken breeder flock in Lincoln County, Tennessee, which is contracted to Tyson Foods Inc.

Avian influenza, or blue flu, is caused by an influenza type A virus, is carried by ducks, geese and shorebirds and can infect poultry such as turkeys, ducks, quails and chickens.

“Out of an abundance of caution, we test all Tyson-owned flocks for the virus before they leave the farm, and we know the results before they’re processed, said Tyson in acompany released statement. “Should any flock be diagnosed with [a] highly pathogenic avian influenza, farms are immediately quarantined and birds from them are not processed.”

Samples of the affected flock, which included 73,500 birds, were tested at Tennessee’s Kord Animal Health Diagnostic Laboratory and confirmed at the APHIS National Veterinary Services Laboratories in Ames, Iowa.

To ensure birds from the flock do not enter the food system, state officials have euthanized the affected birds on the property and have even quarantined the affected premises, as well as, 30 other farms within a six-mile radius.

The case will be the first in commercial poultry for the United States this year.

Posted on WholeFoods Magazine Online, 3/10/17