Deadly Bird Flu Forces Shutdown

Deadly Bird Flu Forces Shutdown

( – Fresh egg producer Cal-Maine Foods, based in Mississippi, closed their Texas plant temporarily, they said in a statement on April 2. When some chickens received a positive test for bird flu, they halted their production.

The extremely contagious flu found in Texas has become the most recent case in a surge of the pathogenic avian flu (HPAI) across the US. The company reported that the discovery of the contagion led to the slaughter of almost two million chickens, accounting for just over three percent of their total chicken population.

The plant closure happened just one day after an individual in Texas contracted the virus and became infected, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). The individual contracted the virus after coming into contact with some dairy cattle. Some cattle had become sick in Kansas and Texas, and when tested, the result was positive for HPAI.

Cal-Maine Foods adheres to the US Department of Agriculture’s virus control protocol. Despite their dedication to biosecurity in their plants, no chicken farm is immune to HPAI, according to the company. Because HPAI is present in a population of wild birds, containment is impossible, especially during migration.

The company is the biggest supplier of fresh eggs in the US, selling most of their product in the South and Mid-Atlantic/Midwest states. They reported that they would be working with other facilities in order to keep any disruption of service to their customers to a minimum.

Eggs have not tested positive for HPAI, and Calo-Maine Foods has not issued any recalls. According to the United States Department of Agriculture, eggs handled and cooked properly are not unsafe to consume.

The Department of State Health Services of Texas reported that the individual who became sick after being in contact with presumably infected cows had conjunctivitis (pink eye), which is the main symptom of avian influenza. Health officials also stated that this is the only instance known globally of a human contracting HPAI.

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