Scott County Chicken Infected With Bird Flu; Poultry Quarantined

A Scott County chicken has tested positive for Avian Influenza, commonly known as bird flu, according to the Arkansas Livestock and Poultry Commission.

The commission received confirmation of the positive test Tuesday night and have quarantined all poultry within a 6.2-mile radius of the chicken house facility where the infected bird was located, according to a statement from Gov. Mike Beebe’s office.

“It’s been discovered that there is a chicken located on a farm in Scott County that has the bird flu,” said Scott County Health Unit Administrator, Darla Mortimore. “The bird was infected and it’s droppings landed in the pond contaminating the pond. The pond water was used at the poultry farm it has nothing to do with our recent flooding.”

The positive test poses no public health threat, and bird flu (H7N7) cannot be transmitted to people “through the consumption of properly prepared poultry,” according to the statement, although bird flu can be spread to people, according to the Centers For Disease Control.

Flood damage did not play a role in the chicken testing positive but Scott County community members are still concerned.

“”We have this bird flu epidemic now and I think the citizens here in Waldron should be kind of concerned about it,” said Ed Waltz.

“Well that’s really scary you know because we have a lot of poultry that’s raised here in Waldron,” said Richey Allen.

An environmental health specialist said the chicken poses no potential threat to well water in Scott County.

“You can’t necessarily get Avian Flu from the well water because it didn’t get infected from the well water. It got infected from some wild bird species possibly defecating in a pond,” said Matthew Hicks.

The commission is coordinating with the U.S. Department of Agriculture on response and additional testing, according to the governor’s office.

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