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Nation's First Reported Bird Flu Case of 2018 Being Handled in J - KOAM TV 7

Nation's First Reported Bird Flu Case of 2018 Being Handled in Jasper County

Updated:
JASPER COUNTY, MISSOURI -

The nation's first reported case of the avian flu is in Jasper County.  Hong Kong has suspended poultry meat and product imports from the United States because of this incident.

The Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy reports the low-pathogenic bird flu, known as H7N1, was found during routine pre-slaughter tests last month.  The World Organization for Animal Health says 20,000 turkeys at a commercial farm in Jasper County are susceptible to this virus, but the organization doesn't list the farm's address.

"The likelihood of this becoming a human issue is slim," says Tony Moehr with the Jasper County Health Department.  "It's not zero, but it's slim."

Moehr says while the USDA and Missouri Department of Agriculture investigate the turkey infections, local health officials will monitor farm workers who have had contact with the birds.

"Typical flu-like symptoms you would expect to see with influenza," says Moehr.

The Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy says the turkeys will be depopulated through controlled marketing, a strategy that allows turkeys with low pathogenic forms of the virus to move to market on a limited basis.  Until that process completes...

"No one in the general public who doesn't have access to those particular birds really has a concern," says Moehr.

The World Organization for Animal Health reports two more commercial poultry farms within about six miles of where the infection was found tested negative for influenza.  The Missouri Department of Agriculture has not returned our phone call for comment on this story.

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