Pennsylvania Closes Live Bird Market in Philadelphia

"Mild strains of avian influenza are very common in poultry, and we have no reason to think this strain is any different," said Agriculture Secretary Dennis Wolff. "If cooked properly, meat and eggs are safe to eat and consumers can continue to be confident that Pennsylvania poultry products are the safest in the world."

Mild cases of avian influenza are routinely discovered in Pennsylvania and surrounding states. The virus for this particular bird market was discovered during a routine surveillance and does not cause bird or human illness.

"We have the measures in place to detect avian influenza quickly, and this occurrence shows that our procedures are working," Wolff said. "As soon as the department was made aware of the positive test, state and federal veterinarians were sent to the site to close the market, dispose of the birds and clean the facility according to state protocols."

The Department of Agriculture will investigate all distribution channels of the birds as they traveled to and from the market, to ensure isolation of all sources of the virus.

Pennsylvania leads the nation in avian influenza surveillance, testing more than 240,000 samples each year. If a bird tests positive for avian influenza, the flock is immediately quarantined.


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