Bird flu is back.
The United States Department of Agriculture's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service confirmed the existence of the highly pathogenic H7 strand of avian influenza in Lincoln County, Tennessee -- specifically in a commercial chicken flock at a farm affiliated with Tyson Foods. This marks the first outbreak of avian flu in commercial poultry in over a year, The Wall Street Journal reports.
There are 73,500 birds in the affected flock, all of which will be killed to prevent the disease from spreading. No infected birds will reach the U.S. food system, nor have recent bird flu outbreaks been a threat to human health, The Wall Street Journal notes.
State health officials have quarantined the area in question. The Tennessee Department of Agriculture is helping farm workers take the necessary precautions to stop from getting sick and passing the disease to others.
The outbreak isn't expected to faze Tyson Foods' production output. "Based on the limited scope known to us at this time, we don't expect disruptions to our chicken business and plan to meet our customers' needs," a Tyson spokesman told the Wall Street Journal.
While the bird flu has hit farms in both Europe and Asia recently, the U.S. hasn't seen much activity since the 2015 outbreak that left more than 50 million chickens and turkeys dead. There was a case last year on an Indiana turkey farm, though it appears to have been an isolated incident, Tennessee state officials told The Wall Street Journal.
This H7 strand isn't what caused the 2015 outbreak, but it's been seen before in North American wild birds.
Wild birds can be infected with virus strains and not seem sick. The USDA discourages people from having contact with sick or dead poultry or wildlife, and recommends washing hands with soap and water if contact does happen, in addition to changing clothes prior to contacting healthy poultry and birds.