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Online Discussion: Tracking new emerging diseases and the next pandemic.

H7N9 arrives in Tennessee

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Albert View Drop Down
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    Posted: March 05 2017 at 6:54pm
(Topic heading for this thread has been edited)

Isn't H7N2 and H7N3 usually LPAI?  Could it be H7N9? Probably not, but interesting that there is an HPAI H7 outbreak in Tennessee. 

Bird flu found in Tennessee chicken flock on Tyson-contracted farm

n">A strain of bird flu has been detected in a chicken breeder flock on a Tennessee farm contracted to U.S. food giant Tyson Foods Inc, and the 73,500 birds will be culled to stop the virus from entering the food system, government and company officials said on Sunday.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture said this represented the first confirmed case of highly pathogenic H7 avian influenza (HPAI) in commercial poultry in the United States this year. It is the first time HPAI has been found in Tennessee, the state government said.

Tyson, the biggest chicken meat producer in the United States, said in a statement it was working with Tennessee and federal officials to contain the virus by euthanizing the birds on the contract farm.

In 2014 and 2015, during a widespread outbreak of HPAI, the United States killed nearly 50 million birds, mostly egg-laying hens. The losses pushed U.S. egg prices to record highs and prompted trading partners to ban imports of American poultry, even though there was little infection then in the broiler industry.

No people were affected in that outbreak, which was primarily of the H5N2 strain. The risk of human infection in poultry outbreaks is low, although in China people have died this winter amid an outbreak of the H7N9 virus in birds.

The facility in Tennessee's Lincoln County has been placed under quarantine, along with approximately 30 other poultry farms within a 6.2-mile (10 km) radius of the site, the state said. Other flocks in the quarantined area are being tested, it added.


Tyson, the USDA and the state did not name the facility involved. Tyson said that it did not expect disruptions to its chicken business.

The USDA should have more information by Monday evening about the particular strain of the virus involved, spokeswoman Donna Karlsons said by email.

HPAI bird flu was last found in a commercial turkey flock in Indiana in January 2016.

The USDA said it would inform the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) and international trading partners of the outbreak.


The biggest traditional markets for U.S. chicken meat are Mexico and Canada, which introduced state or regional bans on U.S. broiler exports after the outbreak two years ago, and China, which imposed a national ban.

Tennessee's broiler production is too small to rank it in the top five U.S. producing states but it is the third-largest generator of cash receipts in agriculture for the state.

In January, the USDA detected bird flu in a wild duck in Montana that appeared to match one of the strains found during the 2014 and 2015 outbreak.


The United States stepped up biosecurity measures aimed at preventing the spread of bird flu after the outbreak two years ago.

Tyson said precautions being taken include disinfecting all vehicles entering farms and banning all nonessential visitor access to contract farms.

In recent months, different strains of bird flu have been confirmed across Asia and in Europe. Authorities have culled millions of birds in affected areas to control the outbreaks.

France, which has the largest poultry flock in the European Union, has reported outbreaks of the highly contagious H5N8 bird flu virus. In South Korea, the rapid spread of the H5N6 strain of the virus has led to the country's worst-ever outbreak of bird flu.

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-health-birdflu-usa-idUSKBN16C0XL

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote jacksdad Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 05 2017 at 7:58pm
Could be H7N8, Albert. That was the cause of the 2016 turkey outbreak in Indiana they mention in the article.
Potentially, any LPAI strain can become hi-path under the right conditions - exposure to commercial flocks being one of them. A lo-path virus passing through a shed packed with 10,000 birds has plenty of opportunities to adapt to it's host.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Albert Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 06 2017 at 3:02am
Thanks JD,  couldn't remember which H7 it was last year. Was hoping someone would refresh my memory and I missed that in the article.  You're absolutely right they (like h5n8) go high path as they spread. 


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Albert Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 06 2017 at 11:49am
I'm with you JD and most likely h7n8, although.....

Bird flu found at Tennessee chicken farm as virus surges in Asia

An outbreak of avian flu in Tennessee has health officials on alert as the virus has surged across parts of Asia in recent months.

The Tennessee Department of Agriculture confirmed yesterday that a flock of chicken from a commercial farm in Lincoln County was ill with a strain of the highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI).

The news comes days after the U.S. Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released a report that found increased activity of a specific strain of avian flu in China and Hong Kong that led to 460 human infections, most of which caused serious illness.

The report found a surge in the number of infections with the strain compared to previous years. Between 2013 and 2017, a total of 1,258 avian influenza A(H7N9) virus infections in China were reported to the World Health Organization (WHO), with 41 percent of the cases resulting in fatalities.

The virus found in Tennessee has been identified as an H7 virus, most likely spread from wild birds in North America. The Tennessee Department of Agriculture said it is assessing whether the virus could be the A(H7N9) strain that has infected hundreds of people in China or another bird flu strain. The department reiterated that they believed there is little to no risk to humans or the food supply as a result of this outbreak.

http://abcnews.go.com/Health/bird-flu-found-tennessee-chicken-farm-virus-surges/story?id=45938138


Comment:  On the contrary to the statement in red, if it is h7n9 it does in fact pose a significant health risk to humans.  Are they beginning to downplay it early as it could be h7n9?   Although most likely not, but we will soon see.


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote jacksdad Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 06 2017 at 6:08pm
You never know - there is an H7N9 strain found in wild birds that differs from the virus infecting humans. Migratory birds could easily spread it.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Albert Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 06 2017 at 6:49pm
I would also say h7n8.  This H7N8 from "start" is HPAI, and may have a particular fondness to the U.S climate.  Who knows.

Either one, it seems the doors of the next pandemic are tightening.  h7n9 means collapse of U.S poultry and widespread fear, as most are clueless.   h7n8 could really be coming out strong. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Albert Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 06 2017 at 6:54pm
h7n8 as HPAI can undoubtedly kill.   It appears to be picking North America as it's preferred climate.   Watch it come out to be h7n9, lol.     
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Eight Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 07 2017 at 6:32pm
It won't be H7N9 since this strain is a HPAI.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote carbon20 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 08 2017 at 2:30pm

Tennessee bird flu shares name, not genetics, of feared China strain.USDA

By Tom Polansek | CHICAGO

The strain of bird flu that infected a chicken farm in Tennessee in recent days shares the same name as a form of the virus that has killed humans in China, but is genetically distinct from it, U.S. authorities said on Tuesday.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture identified the strain in Tennessee as H7N9, following a full genome sequencing of samples from the farm. It said all eight gene segments of the virus had North American wild bird lineage.

On Sunday, the USDA confirmed the farm in Tennessee was infected with highly pathogenic bird flu, making it the first case in a commercial U.S. operation in more than a year.

In China, at least 112 people have died from H7N9 bird flu this winter, Xinhua news agency said on Friday.

However, that virus has Eurasian lineage, U.S. flu experts said.

"Even though the numbers and the letters are the same, if you look at the genetic fingerprint of that virus, it is different," said Dan Jernigan, director of the influenza division at the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases at U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Jernigan said the risk to humans from the virus found in Tennessee is low. Genome sequencing shows the H7N9 virus did not have genetic features present in the virus in China that make it easier for humans to become infected, he said.

The virus found in Tennessee likely mutated to become highly pathogenic from a less dangerous, low pathogenic form, he said.

Disease experts fear a deadly strain of bird flu could mutate into a form that could be passed easily between people and become a pandemic.

Multiple outbreaks of the virus have been reported in poultry farms and wild flocks across Europe, Africa and Asia in the past six months. Most involved strains that were low risks for human health, but the sheer number of different types, and their simultaneous presence in so many parts of the world, has increased the risk of viruses mixing and mutating - and possibly jumping to people, according to disease experts.

China's Center for Disease Control and Prevention has said the majority of people infected by H7N9 in China reported exposure to poultry, especially at live markets.

Identifying the viruses in Tennessee and China both as H7N9 is similar to having two cars from different states with the same license plate number, said Carol Cardona, avian flu expert at the University of Minnesota.

The strain in Tennessee "is NOT the same as the China H7N9 virus that has impacted poultry and infected humans in Asia," the USDA emphasized in a statement.


"While the subtype is the same as the China H7N9 lineage that emerged in 2013, this is a different virus and is genetically distinct from the China H7N9 lineage," the USDA added.

U.S. officials are working to determine how the Tennessee farm, which was a supplier to Tyson Foods Inc, became infected. All 73,500 birds there were killed by the disease or suffocated with foam to prevent its spread.

Tyson, the world's biggest chicken company, is "hopeful this is an isolated incident," spokesman Worth Sparkman said.

Authorities have not identified the name of the farm or the town in Lincoln County, Tennessee, where it is located.

(Editing by Matthew Lewis and Bernard Orr)

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Albert Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 09 2017 at 4:07am
Well at least they're not downplaying the arrival of H7N9, lol.

This HPAI H7N9 is a mild one and completely different.  Maybe even good for you.   Tongue
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Eight Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 09 2017 at 8:31am
Ha, flu making me a liar once again. Impressive the first time we've seen HPAI H7N9 it pops up twice within a week.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote jacksdad Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 09 2017 at 9:34am
Originally posted by Eight Eight wrote:

Impressive the first time we've seen HPAI H7N9 it pops up twice within a week.


Couldn't agree more. Wonder if this is the start of a trend, or just isolated cases?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote carbon20 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 09 2017 at 4:44pm

Bird flu strikes Tennessee chickens again, in a less-dangerous form

By Tom Polansek | CHICAGO

A commercial flock of 17,000 chickens in Tennessee has been culled after becoming infected with low-pathogenic bird flu, state agricultural officials said on Thursday, days after a more dangerous form of the disease killed poultry in a neighboring county.

Authorities killed and buried chickens at the site in Giles County, Tennessee, "as a precaution" after a case of highly pathogenic flu in Lincoln County led to the deaths of about 73,500 chickens over the weekend, according to the Tennessee Department of Agriculture. It said officials did not believe birds at one premise sickened those at the other.

Highly pathogenic bird flu is often fatal for domesticated poultry and led to the deaths of about 50 million birds, mostly egg-laying hens, in the United States in 2014 and 2015. Low-pathogenic flu is less serious and can cause coughing, depression and other symptoms in birds.

The highly pathogenic case in Tennessee was the first such infection in a commercial U.S. operation in more than a year and heightened fears among chicken producers that the disease may return.

The spread of highly pathogenic flu could represent a financial blow for poultry operators, such as Tyson Foods Inc and Pilgrim's Pride Corp, because it would kill more birds or require flocks to be culled. It also would trigger more import bans from other countries, after South Korea, Japan and other nations limited imports because of the case in Lincoln County.

Jack Shere, chief veterinary officer for the U.S. Department of Agriculture, said in an interview that there was speculation the highly pathogenic virus found in Tennessee shared similar characteristics with a low-pathogenic virus that circulated in Tennessee, Kentucky, Minnesota and Illinois in 2009.

Wild migratory birds can carry the flu without showing symptoms and spread it to poultry through feces, feathers or other contact.

"This virus can mutate very easily, so low-pathogenic issues are just as important - when they are circulating among the wild birds - as the high-pathogenic issues," Shere said.

Both cases in Tennessee were located along the state's southern border with Alabama, one of the country's top producers of "broiler" chickens for meat. They also were both in facilities for chickens that bred broiler birds and involved the same strain, H7N9, according to Tennessee's agriculture department.

The state said it was testing poultry within a 10-kilometer radius of the Giles County site for the flu and so far had not found any other sick flocks.

“When routine testing showed a problem at this facility, the operators immediately took action and notified our lab," said Charles Hatcher, Tennessee's state veterinarian.

H7N9 is the same name as a strain of the virus that has killed people in China, but U.S. authorities said the Tennessee virus was genetically distinct.

U.S. officials have said the risk of bird flu spreading to people from poultry or making food unsafe was low.

Low-pathogenic bird flu also was recently detected on a turkey farm in Wisconsin. Authorities there decided to keep the birds under quarantine until they tested negative for the virus, rather than to cull them, according to the state.

(Additional reporting by Mark Weinraub in Washington, D.C.; Editing by G Crosse, Richard Chang and Bernard Orr)


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Eight Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 10 2017 at 10:35am
Originally posted by jacksdad jacksdad wrote:

Originally posted by Eight Eight wrote:

Impressive the first time we've seen HPAI H7N9 it pops up twice within a week.


Couldn't agree more. Wonder if this is the start of a trend, or just isolated cases?

According to US sources this is an unrelated HPAI H7N9, which isn't exactly comforting. I suppose it's just dumb luck, though it certainly highlights the fact that commercial poultry farms can breed HPAI reproducibly.

Depending on how events like these make regulatory agencies twitchy we could see more strict protocol in reaction to LPAI outbreaks, like the WI case mentioned yesterday. Depopulation isn't a requirement currently as LPAI doesn't melt through the flock like butter, so they often can just outlast it. This might not be the best longterm approach in the above context.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Albert Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 10 2017 at 11:04am
Hello there Eight, and welcome to the forum by the way.  Glad to have you here.  Sounds like you will have some good insight.

The dumb luck on having another HPAI H7N9 is a little bit of a stretch for me, but I suppose it is what it is, and we have a brand new one here. Almost bizarre how h7n9 has never left Asia before, and a different lineage now emerges.   I'm guessing an identical lineage is circulating in China.

I'm not big on conspiracy theories, although it's not a crime for the feds to suppress information as they're not obligated to share every little thing, but would have to assume it arrived by migratory birds.  So are we not testing dead birds (such as surrounding lakes / ponds in TN, and Alaska for that matter?), or just not reporting it.  A brand new strain emerging in TN is a little bit of a stretch. 

Like I said, it's not a crime to withhold information or to suppress it, nor is misinformation, but this one is not quite adding up.  The odds of this particular lineage not circulating in China is probably around 0.0.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote CRS, DrPH Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 10 2017 at 3:24pm
Tennessee officials reiterated that genetic tests on a virus isolated from the Lincoln County outbreak revealed that all gene segments are from North American wild bird lineages, with no connection to the H7N9 circulating in China and causing cases in people.

Well, now I can sleep at night!!  

I was wondering about the genetics....one of my partners-in-crime (FBI) pointed out that the porcine epidemic diarrhea virus (PED) seems to have been imported into the USA from contaminated animal feed containers, returned to the USA:  


I was wondering if the TN H7N9 might have a similar natural history?  According to Dr. Osterholm, it is natural migration of fowl.  Great. 

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Albert Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 10 2017 at 6:55pm
Originally posted by CRS, DrPH CRS, DrPH wrote:


I was wondering if the TN H7N9 might have a similar natural history?  According to Dr. Osterholm, it is natural migration of fowl.  Great. 


A migration of no reporting.    If they don't report fowl dying on the coastlines when it arrived months ago, then have to question this novel stain in TN as well.    The same lineage is in China.  How else can it be "imported" otherwise.  Unless this new one just spawned in TN, lol.  

Either they're not testing or not reporting.  It's door number two.  No crime in it. 

China's n9 lineage has always been reserved and confined to China like a bioweapon. 
This new U.S. strain of h7n9 is truly bizarre.




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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Albert Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 11 2017 at 5:45am
According to niman the HPAI H7N9 in TN began as LPAI.  


Niman: :TN has detected low path H7N9 at chicken farm in Giles County, TN suggesting Lincoln County outbreak began as LPAI"

Poultry Flock Tests Positive for Low Pathogenic Avian Influenza
Thursday, March 09, 2017 | 12:09pm

NASHVILLE — The state veterinarian confirms that a flock of chickens at a commercial poultry breeding operation has tested positive for low pathogenic avian influenza (LPAI).

This chicken breeding operation is located in Giles County, Tenn. The company that operates it is a different company from the one associated with the recent detection of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) in Lincoln County. At this time, officials do not believe one premises sickened the other.

On March 6, routine screening tests at the Giles County premises indicated the presence of avian influenza in the flock. State and federal laboratories confirmed the existence of H7N9 LPAI in tested samples.

“This is why we test and monitor for avian influenza,” State Veterinarian Dr. Charles Hatcher said. “When routine testing showed a problem at this facility, the operators immediately took action and notified our lab. That fast response is critical to stopping the spread of this virus.”

As a precaution, the affected flock was depopulated and has been buried. The premises is under quarantine. Domesticated poultry within a 10 kilometer (6.2 mile) radius of the site are also under quarantine and are being tested and monitored for illness. To date, all additional samples have tested negative for avian influenza and no other flocks within the area have shown signs of illness.

The primary difference between LPAI and HPAI is mortality rate in domesticated poultry. A slight change to the viral structure can make a virus deadly for birds. Avian influenza virus strains often occur naturally in wild migratory birds without causing illness in those birds. With LPAI, domesticated chickens and turkeys may show little or no signs of illness. However, HPAI is often fatal for domesticated poultry.

The Giles County LPAI incident is similar to the Lincoln County HPAI incident in that both the low pathogenic and highly pathogenic viruses are an H7N9 strain of avian influenza. USDA’s National Veterinary Services Laboratories confirms the H7N9 virus that affected the Lincoln County premises is of North American wild bird lineage. It is not the same as the China H7N9 virus affecting Asia and is genetically distinct.

The Lincoln County premises affected by HPAI remains under quarantine. To date, all additional poultry samples from the area surrounding that site have tested negative for avian influenza and no other flocks within the area have shown signs of illness. Testing and monitoring continues.

Neither LPAI nor HPAI pose a risk to the food supply. No affected animals entered the food chain. The risk of a human becoming ill with avian influenza during poultry outbreaks is very low. However, out of an abundance of caution, officials with the Tennessee Department of Health and Tennessee Department of Agriculture are working together to monitor the health of individuals who are working on either premises or had contact with affected birds. 

The plan for the control of avian influenza includes coordination of local, county, state and federal resources and response, and protocols for quarantine, testing, disposal, cleaning, disinfection and monitoring.

Owners of commercial and backyard poultry flocks are encouraged to closely observe their birds.

  • Report a sudden increase in the number of sick birds or bird deaths to the state veterinarian’s office at 615- 837-5120 and/or USDA at 1-866-536-7593.
  • Prevent contact with wild birds.
  • Practice good biosecurity with your poultry.
  • Enroll in the National Poultry Improvement Plan.
  • Follow Tennessee’s avian influenza updates and access resources for producers and consumers.

The state veterinarian and staff are focused on animal health and disease prevention. Each year, the Kord Animal Health Diagnostic Laboratory tests approximately 22,000 samples from poultry for avian flu.

http://recombinomics.co/topic/3477-lpai-h7n9-chicken-farm-giles-county-tennessee/#comment-12358

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Albert Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 11 2017 at 6:32am
Interesting that the second outbreak is not related to Lincoln County. A little unsettling that there are two different H7N9 strains emerging at once.

Tennessee officials: 2nd confirmation of avian flu

Tennessee officials have confirmed that a second commercial breeding poultry operation in Tennessee has tested positive for the avian flu.

Officials say the chicken breeding facility is located in Giles County, which lies south of Nashville and is close to the Alabama state line.

On Sunday, the U.S. Department of Agriculture announced that another farm in southern Tennessee had bird flu. The entire flock of birds in Lincoln County was killed. That farm supplied Tyson foods.

Officials said the latest chicken-breeding operation to be infected is owned by a different company. Investigators do not believe that chickens at one farm sickened those at the other facility.

The Giles County chicken flock has been killed and investigators are testing nearby poultry facilities.

http://abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory/tennessee-officials-2nd-confirmation-avian-flu-46028555

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Eight Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 11 2017 at 9:28am
[QUOTE=Albert]
According to niman the HPAI H7N9 in TN began as LPAI. 

That's what makes the most sense. LPAI among waterfowl is essentially invisible. We've had it here we just didn't know since it wasn't HPAI yet.
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