The low-pathogenic strain of the H7 avian flu is less worrisome than the high-pathogenic flu, which is “the one that is deadly to our poultry flock,” Department of Agriculture spokeswoman Julie McPeake said.
Fast Facts on the Avian Flu
This particular strain, however, has the potential to mutate into the high-pathogenic, which is why the state is taking no risks.
“It is a virus,” McPeake said. “It is contagious” to other chickens.
The risk of a human becoming ill with avian influenza during poultry illness incidents is very low, according to the Georgia Department of Health.
A similar strain of the virus was previously found in Alabama, Kentucky and Tennessee. The diagnosis was confirmed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s laboratory in Ames, Iowa.
Black had already announced a ban on poultry exhibitions, sales at local fairs and festivals because of the threat of avian flu.