Europe is starting to breath a sigh of relief as the worst effects of the H5N8 strain of birdflu seem to be passing. With no major outbreaks in Ireland farmers are now looking toward releasing birds once conditions seem safe.
The US however is now the next in line for a bird flu outbreak with the news that hens in Lincoln County Tennessee were found to have a different strain of bird flu. H7N9 is the same as the strain that has hit China and lead to over 1200 human deaths. Scientists in the US have said however that though the birds there have contracted H7N9 it is of a different lineage and will not infect people.
The US Department of Agriculture said in a statement that the virus is ‘a different vrus and is genetically distinct,’ from China’s H7N9 strain.
The strain found in the US is from wild birds.
The outbreak was discovered in a poultry farm in Tennessee on March 5th. The flock of 73,500 birds have now been destroyed and burial of the birds is now underway.
The USDA is confident that they have taken care of the outbreak and USDA chief veterinarian Jack Shere said; ‘There’s no evidence based on the commercial flocks that have been tested in addition to the infected flock, of any spread at this time.’
Flocks in the surrounding area have not tested for presence of the disease.