A state Department of Agriculture employee remains on site last week at a Menlo area poultry farm where the avian flu was recently detected. However, that’s standard procedure.
“There have been no further signs of avian flu in Chattooga County,” said DOA spokeswoman Julie McPeake.
She said the site manager at the farm on McWhorter Road was overseeing ongoing cleanup efforts.
“We are disinfecting the (chicken) houses again as part of our normal procedure,” McPeake said. “After that is completed the houses will be tested again.”
She said there was no set time for the chicken houses to be approved for use.
McPeake said that a second round of backyard flock surveillance is taking place in the area this week and a third is scheduled for next week.
“We have already done the hard part there; that was identifying who in the area had backyard flocks,” she said, “Now, we’re going back and testing them for a second time.”
McPeake told The News last week that the virus was detected during the normal pre-sale screening.
Testing revealed that the birds were infected with the H7 avian influenza. Tests showed the birds had the low pathogenic strain of the virus, which acts more slowly and is less lethal than the high pathogenic strain. Birds with the weaker virus can survive the infection and it is harder to detect unless testing is conducted.
The infected flocks were sprayed with lethal foam and then buried “on the site,” said McPeake.
Agriculture officials in Georgia and Alabama moved quickly to test every commercial producer within 6.2 miles of the infection site. Officials also canvassed the area within two mile so site to identify and test any backyard flocks.