A strain of bird flu has been found at a Tyson Foods farm in Tennessee, and 73,500 birds had to be destroyed in order to prevent the spread of the virus, according to The Associated Press.
H7 avian influenza is deadly to chickens and turkeys but rarely spreads to humans. Even so, if a particularly strong strain of avian flu does spread to humans, it can raise serious concerns about a pandemic, as occurred in both 2006 and 2007.
"We're responding aggressively, and are working with state and federal officials to contain the virus," Tyson Foods Inc. explained in a press release, adding that the company does not expect production levels to be affected.
The affected farm is located in Lincoln County, Tennessee, although officials will not reveal any further details. Only one commercial chicken farm was found within six miles of the quarantined breeder, and all of the birds there tested negative for the virus, meaning that — most likely — the outbreak has been contained, thanks to fast-acting health officials.
The USDA will test other chicken farms in Tennessee in an effort to determine the source of the outbreak.