Avian flu found in Oklahoma flock, 13,800 chickens destroyed

A case of highly pathogenic avian influenza in an Oklahoma border county adjacent to Sebastian County and Fort Smith was confirmed in a tweet by the Arkansas Department of Agriculture on Monday. No cases have yet been confirmed in Arkansas.

"With a confirmed case this close to Arkansas, it's important for poultry owners, from backyard flocks to commercial operations, to remain on high alert," the department said in the tweet.

The disease was detected by the USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service in a commercial chicken breeder flock in Sequoyah County in Oklahoma on Saturday, according to a USDA press release Sunday. This affected 13,800 birds, according to the USDA's avian flu tracker.

The premises was placed under quarantine and the birds on the property were destroyed to prevent the disease from spreading.

Federal and state officials are working on additional surveillance and testing around the affected flocks, the release said.

Arkansas is surrounded by three states with confirmed cases of avian flu: Missouri, Oklahoma and Texas.

The public health risks related to avian flu in birds remains low, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said in the USDA release. The release also recommended people to cook all poultry and eggs to an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit as a general food safety precaution.

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