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US: Second human-infected bird flu case found after Texas man comes in contact with sick cows


US Bird flu
Image Source : AP Representational Image

Washington: The largest producer of fresh eggs in the US has said that it had temporarily halted production at a Texas plant after bird flu was found in chickens, and officials said the virus had also been detected at a poultry facility in Michigan. 

The announcement by Cal-Maine comes a day after state health officials said a person had been diagnosed with bird flu after being in contact with cows presumed to be infected, and that the risk to the public remains low. In Michigan, Michigan State University’s Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory has detected bird flu in a commercial poultry facility in Ionia County, according to the Michigan’s Department of Agriculture and Rural Development.

In Texas, Ridgeland, Mississippi-based Cal-Maine Foods, Inc said in a statement on Tuesday that approximately 1.6 million laying hens and 3,37,000 pullets, about 3.6% of its total flock, were destroyed after the infection, avian influenza, was found at the facility in Parmer County, Texas.

The plant is on the Texas-New Mexico border in the Texas Panhandle about 85 miles (137 km) southwest of Amarillo and about 370 miles (595 km) northwest of Dallas. “The Company continues to work closely with federal, state and local government officials and focused industry groups to mitigate the risk of future outbreaks and effectively manage the response,” according to the statement. “Cal-Maine Foods is working to secure production from other facilities to minimize disruption to its customers,” the statement said.

Company announced it will not recall eggs from the market

The company said there is no known bird flu risk associated with eggs that are currently in the market and no eggs have been recalled. Eggs that are properly handled and cooked are safe to eat, according to the US Department of Agriculture.

Fourth case of bird flu since 2022

The county is about 100 miles (161 km) northwest of Detroit. The department said it received confirmation of the disease Monday from the lab and that it is the fourth time since 2022 that the disease was detected at a commercial facility in Michigan. Department spokesperson Jennifer Holton said Tuesday that state law prohibits the department from disclosing the type of poultry at the facility in Ionia.

The facility has been placed under quarantine and the department does not anticipate any disruptions to supply chains across the state, Holton said. The human case in Texas marks the first known instance globally of a person catching this version of bird flu from a mammal, federal health officials said. Dairy cows in Texas and Kansas were reported to be infected with bird flu last week — and federal agriculture officials later confirmed infections in a Michigan dairy herd that had recently received cows from Texas.

The company said Cal-Maine sells most of its eggs in the Southwestern, Southeastern, Midwestern and mid-Atlantic regions of the United States. 

(With inputs from agency)

Also Read: China records first H3N8 bird flu death I Should India need to worry?



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