Bird flu outbreaks expand to New York, Maine flocks

An avian flu strain deadly to chickens and other fowl has been detected in two additional states, federal regulators confirmed Sunday.

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The highly pathogenic bird flu strain has been confirmed in non-commercial, backyard flocks of birds on Long Island, New York, and in Knox County, Maine.

Samples from the Long Island flock were tested at the Cornell University Animal Health Diagnostic Center and confirmed at the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service laboratories in Ames, Iowa, USA Today reported.

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Meanwhile, the service is working with Maine animal health officials to quarantine the affected property, WMTW reported.

According to both USA Today and WMTW, both flocks of affected birds will be “depopulated” to prevent the spread of the virus, and birds from the flocks will be prohibited from entering the food system.

Federal regulators are now monitoring infected flocks in five states since Feb. 13. The virus has been detected at commercial turkey farms in southern Indiana, a flock of commercial broiler chickens in Kentucky and a backyard flock of mixed-species birds in northern Virginia.

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Indiana officials confirmed Saturday that the virus has now been detected in a fourth commercial poultry flock and began euthanizing the 15,200 birds at the latest farm to prevent the spread of the disease, USA Today reported.

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According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the detection of bird flu does not present an immediate public health concern, and the USDA confirmed that no human cases of the viruses have been detected among Americans, the newspaper reported.