- The Alabama Department of Agriculture said at least one sample of a guinea fowl at the TaCo-Bet Trade Day flea market in Scottsboro tested positive for avian influenza, according to the Gadsden Times.
- Alabama poultry is currently under a “stop movement” order in an effort to prevent any possible spread of bird flu.
- Low pathogenic avian flu was also found in another flock in Christian County, KY, according to WKMS. It is the same strain that was found in a Kentucky flock earlier this month. The broiler flock of 22,000 hens was asymptomatic, but has been culled.
In the last month, bird flu has been in the news many times. These newest cases don't pose as large a concern as some of the others, but it shows just how susceptible flocks are.
Migrating water fowl are the natural carriers of bird flu viruses, though infection can spread to domestic poultry, according to WebMD. Research collected during the 2015 bird flu outbreak showed that these birds — who can show no outward sign of disease — can sometimes spread the virus along the Mississippi Flyway migratory route, which goes from the Gulf of Mexico to Canada, over Minnesota and Wisconsin. The virus spreads through the wild birds' droppings onto poultry farm land.
Industry analysts say humans cannot get bird flu from eating or preparing poultry or eggs. Even if the eggs or poultry were contaminated, proper cooking would kill the virus.
Last year, the US Poultry & Egg Association released strict guidelines for the industry to help producers better plan and prepare for a response to emergencies. This was important because when the last major outbreak happened in 2015, the industry wasn’t prepared.
So far, it seems that producers are succeeding in containing the virus to their own flocks. There have been no reports of flock-to-flock transmission or lower outputs of meat or eggs. There’s always a chance that a strain of the virus could spread and the chicken or egg supply could quickly decrease. This could undoubtedly lead to higher prices at the store, and frustration from consumers and manufacturers who depend on eggs.