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Avian flu confirmed in Texas flock.

USDA confirmed recently that the H5N2 strain of avian influenza in a flock of chickens in Gonzales, Texas is highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI), the first such case in the U.S. in 20 years. Texas becomes the fourth U.S. state in two weeks to be affected by bird flu. Delaware, New Jersey and Pennsylvania have also reported mild strains of the virus. USDA is working closely with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to forestall any human health impacts from this outbreak.

The premises in Gonzales County, Texas remains under quarantine, and the flock of approximately 6,608 broiler chickens were depopulated over the weekend. Two live bird markets in Houston have also been quarantined and are being depopulated. USDA and the Texas Animal Health Commission (TAHC) have started an epidemiological investigation that includes determining the source of the infection and surveillance testing within a 10-mile radius of the infected property. The AI virus in Texas is not connected with the virus found in Asia and is not believed to be connected with the virus recently detected in the northeastern U.S., which was a low pathogenic type.

AI is highly contagious and can be spread through movement of poultry, people, and equipment. Although AI can be infectious to humans, there is no evidence of any human cases in Texas and transmission to humans is very rare. HPAI spreads through bird to bird contact. More than 20 countries have banned imports of some or all U.S. poultry.

For more information on avian influenza, please visit the APHIS web site:

www.aphis, usda.gov
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Publication:Frozen Food Digest
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1U7TX
Date:Feb 1, 2004
Words:267
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