Status  of  Avian  Influenza  in  the  United States

 

LATEST UPDATE

Mississippi currently does not have any commercial or backyard birds testing positive for avian influenza.

April 26, 2017 Poultry Update: It has been over 21 days since the last confirmed cases of Avian Influenza in Kentucky and Georgia so now all of the restrictions for Kentucky and Georgia have been released.  Therefore, backyard poultry is now permitted to move into the state of Mississippi from all states as long as regular regulations for poultry are met.  Please remember:

  1. Only Mississippi birds that are part of the MS Poultry Improvement Program (MPIP) or National Poultry Improvement Program (NPIP) and have paper work to show proof are allowed to show or sell poultry at public events.
  2. Out of state birds must be from an NPIP AI Monitored Program, or have a negative AI Test and have proof of both.

These programs are free to the public through the MS Board of Animal Health (MBAH).  For more information or to get on the list to be tested, please call the main office number at 601-359-1170.

NEWS RELEASES

On March 27, 2017, the Georgia Department of Agriculture released a statement that included the following information: “A flock of chickens at a commercial poultry breeding operation located in Chattooga County has tested positive for H7, presumptive low pathogenic avian influenza (LPAI). This is the first confirmation of avian influenza in domestic poultry in Georgia. Avian influenza does not pose a risk to the food supply, and no affected animals entered the food chain. The risk of human infection with avian influenza during poultry outbreaks is very low.

The virus was identified during routine pre-sale screening for the commercial facility and was confirmed as H7 avian influenza by the USDA National Veterinary Services Laboratory (NVSL) in Ames, Iowa. As a precaution the affected flock has been depopulated. Officials are testing and monitoring other flocks within the surveillance area and no other flocks have tested positive or experienced any clinical signs.

The announcement follows similar confirmations from Alabama, Kentucky and Tennessee in recent weeks. The Georgia case is considered a presumptive low pathogenic avian influenza because the flock did not show any signs of illness. While LPAI is different from HPAI, control measures are under way as a precautionary measure. Wild birds are the source of the virus. Avian influenza virus strains often occur naturally in wild birds, and can infect wild migratory birds without causing illness.” Click here for further information

 

On March 16, 2017, the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) has confirmed a second case of highly pathogenic H7N9 avian influenza in a commercial breeder flock in Lincoln County, Tennessee. This H7N9 strain is of North American wild bird lineage and is the same strain of avian influenza that was previously confirmed in Tennessee.  It is NOT the same as the China H7N9 virus that has impacted poultry and infected humans in Asia.  The flock of 55,000 chickens is located in the Mississippi flyway, within three kilometers of the first Tennessee case.    Click here for more information

 

  Disease  Basics

 

Avian influenza (AI), also known as “bird flu,” is a viral disease affecting birds. The virus infects domestic poultry, such as chickens, turkeys, quail, and geese, and wild birds, such as shorebirds and waterfowl.

AI viruses are divided into two groups—highly pathogenic (HPAI) and low pathogenic (LPAI)—based on the ability of the virus to produce disease and the severity of illness it can cause. HPAI spreads rapidly and has a high death rate in birds. LPAI causes only minor illness and occurs naturally in migratory waterfowl. The concern is that some LPAI virus strains are capable of mutating into HPAI viruses.

No human cases of these avian influenza viruses have been detected in the United States, Canada, or internationally, and there is no immediate public health concern. It is safe to eat properly handled and cooked poultry products, including meat and eggs. Even if poultry and eggs were to be contaminated with the virus, proper cooking would kill it.