Avian influenza back in the news; case found in Tennessee in March
The occurrence of an H7 avian influenza case in Lincoln County, Tenn., in early March serves as an excellent reminder for North Carolina poultry producers and backyard flock owners to continue to employ good biosecurity measures on the farm.
Following confirmation of the avian flu, the U.S. Department of Agriculture worked closely with state officials to depopulate the commercial flock to contain the spread of the virus.
The N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services assisted with depopulation efforts during outbreaks of a highly pathogenic avian influenza in 2015 in Minnesota and Iowa, learning many lessons along the way. That outbreak led many states to prepare for response in the event HPAI is found in their poultry population.
“The most recent information provided suggests the Tennessee disease outbreak has been quickly and appropriately managed and the level of threat to North Carolina and other Southeastern states is markedly diminished,” said State Veterinarian Doug Meckes. “Many North Carolina families rely on the poultry industry for their livelihoods, and the department will continue to work closely with local, county and federal partners and the poultry industry to help prevent the introduction of disease or immediately respond should the disease be identified here in North Carolina.”
Commercial and small flock owners in North Carolina should implement strict biosecurity measures to limit the possible introduction of HPAI to their flocks. It’s also important to know the warning signs and be aware of changes to your flock that may signal that something is wrong. Visit our website, www.ncagr.gov/avianflu, for more information about HPAI and our preparedness efforts.