Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Virginia On 'Code Red' Alert Over Bird Flu Outbreak

HARRISONBURG — State officials hope to clip the wings of a possible avian flu outbreak in the Valley by canceling public events and sales involving live poultry, and prohibiting the application of poultry litter in 17 counties in Western Virginia until the end of the month.

The Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services is calling for the measures in response to Friday’s discovery of avian flu antibodies in a flock of 54,000 turkeys on an unidentified Shenandoah County farm. The antibodies were found in the birds, located on a farm west of Mount Jackson, during a "preslaughter" test.

Elaine Lidholm, director of communication for VDAC, said the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Veterinary Services Laboratory in Ames, Iowa, is still trying to isolate the virus, and may identify what’s causing the antibodies today.


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