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USDA confirms bird flu in Wisconsin chicken operation

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced on Monday that bird flu has been found at a commercial chicken operation in Wisconsin, The Associated Press reported.

In a statement, the USDA said samples of the flock were tested at a local laboratory, with the results being confirmed at the National Veterinary Services Laboratories in Ames, Iowa.

Local farms that raise chickens and turkeys for consumption have been placed on high alert and have taken steps to increase biosecurity amid bird flu findings in multiple U.S. states, according to the AP.

The department also said that state animal health officials have quarantined the farm property in Wisconsin’s Jefferson County, adding that all the chickens in the contaminated flock will be destroyed and will not enter the food system.

Bird flu, also known as avian influenza, is an airborne respiratory virus that spreads among chickens through nasal and eye secretions and manure.

Farmers fear a repeat of a widespread bird flu outbreak in 2015 that killed 50 million birds across 15 states, costing the federal government $15 million in total losses.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said that the latest bird flu outbreak doesn’t present an immediate health concern, adding that no human cases of the flu have been detected in the U.S., the AP noted.

The Hill has reached out to the USDA for comment and more information.

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