The USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) has confirmed the presence of highly pathogenic H7 avian influenza (HPAI) of North American wild bird lineage in a commercial chicken breeder flock in Lincoln County, Tennessee. This is the first confirmed case of HPAI in commercial poultry in the United States this year.
The flock of 73,500 is located within the Mississippi flyway. Virus isolation is ongoing, and NVSL expects to characterize the neuraminidase protein, or “N-type”, of the virus within 48 hours.
APHIS is working closely with the Tennessee Department of Agriculture (TDA) on a joint incident response. State officials quarantined the affected premises and birds on the property will be depopulated to prevent the spread of the disease. Birds from the flock will not enter the food system. They are also working directly with poultry workers at the affected facility to ensure that they are taking the proper precautions to prevent illness and contain disease spread.
“With this positive H7NX finding, there is an urgent need for all poultry producers to be vigilant in maintaining biosecurity on farms, particularly wild bird control at this time of year. The self-assessment tool will help identify any weaknesses on a farm, and numerous resources are identified to address any deficiencies,” said Dr. John Glisson, vice president of research programs for USPOULTRY.