An extremely infectious strain of bird flu has been discovered in a backyard flock in southern Georgia, as per authorities.

It was the first verified incidence of highly virulent bird flu in farmed poultry in Georgia this year, according to Agriculture Minister Gary Black.

Hundreds of his birds perished in a 24-hour period, according to a Toombs County man who owned a flock of hens, turkeys, ducks, guinea fowl, and other animals. He requested an investigation, and samples tested on Monday revealed the presence of avian flu. To stop the sickness from spreading, officials slaughtered over 350 birds and cleaned the property.

Georgia has the state’s major poultry business, according to Black, and if bird flu spreads to commercial enterprises, it “may have a severe effect on poultry production, as well as the regional economy overall.”

Georgia was the 36th province in which the H5N1 bird flu virus was discovered in poultry animals, affecting tens of millions of birds, according to officials. Officials have previously only found it in wild birds in Georgia.

In 2017, a poultry farm in northwest Georgia was hit by a bird flu outbreak.

Officials are examining birds on all poultry flocks within six miles, according to Louise Zavala, executive director of the Georgia Poultry Laboratory (10 kilometers).

Humans have an extremely minimal risk of getting avian flu, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Earlier this year, a case was discovered in a Colorado inmate who was slaughtering diseased hens. Diseases in other nations can occur when individuals spend lengthy amounts of time unprotected around diseased birds. According to the CDC.

To prevent the spread of the virus, Georgia has outlawed poultry shows, sales, and exchanges since February.

Operators of poultry flocks should contact the Avian Influenza Helpline at 770-766-6850 if they notice a huge number of sick or dead birds.

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