Published: Thu, March 16, 2017
Medical | By Garry George

Iowans Optimistic They Will Ward Off Bird Flu

Officials want the public to know, this situation does not pose a food safety threat.

An investigation found suspected avian influenza in one flock of chickens at a commercial operation in Lauderdale County.

Alabama has issued a "stop movement order" on poultry farmers after three separate instances of bird flu investigations in the north part of the state, Fox News reported.

Samples from both premises were sent to the USDA National Veterinary Services Laboratories in Ames, Iowa, to be tested for the virus.

"The health of poultry is critically important at this time", Dr.

Preliminary test results have confirmed bird flu at three sites, but further testing by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) will determine the strain of flu and its severity.

Commissioner John McMillan issued an order Wednesday following the recent confirmation of avian influenza in Tennessee and three investigations into possible cases in Madison, Jackson and Lauderdale counties. Another is a backyard flock in Madison County. Tony Frazier, Alabama's state veterinarian, said in a release.

Dr. Frazier has been working closely with USDA and the Tennessee Department of Agriculture this past week.

"Following the 2015 avian influenza outbreak in the Midwest, planning, preparation, and extensive biosecurity efforts were escalated in Alabama". He said one case in Alabama was at a commercial breeding facility for chickens raised for meat and one involved a backyard flock. Stopping the movement of birds is the most practical way of stopping the spread of the virus, however, the fact that wild birds, including many waterfowl, are hosts for the virus makes it hard to keep domestic flocks from any intermingling with wild birds.

The Alabama Department of Agriculture is holding a press conference today to provide updates.

South Korea banned imports of all USA poultry following the Tennessee bird-flu findings, according to its agriculture ministry.

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