As agriculture officials across the southeast once again scramble to prepare for the possibility of transmission of avian flu, the Centers for Disease Prevention and Control is telling people things will be quite alright.
The CDC considers the risk to the public’s health from the North American H7N9 virus in commercial poultry to be low. Fewer than 10 people have been reported as infected by avian flu in North America in the last 15 years.
The CDC is working closely with USDA APHIS and the Tennessee Department of Health to minimize any human health risk posed by the avian influenza outbreak in Lincoln County, Tennessee, the Department of Agriculture said in a prepared statement.
This includes implementing a protocol to monitor the health of poultry workers exposed to commercial poultry involved in the USDA/APHIS-confirmed highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) A (H7N9) outbreak. At this time, no human infections associated with this outbreak in Tennessee have been detected.
CDC has longstanding guidance for the public related to previous domestic HPAI outbreaks:
- avoid wild birds and observe them only from a distance;
- avoid contact with domestic birds (poultry) that appear ill or have died;
- avoid contact with surfaces that appear to be contaminated with feces from wild or domestic birds.