A flock of chickens at a commercial broiler breeder operation in Giles County, Tennessee, has tested positive for low pathogenic H7N9 avian influenza.

The state’s second avian influenza case in 2017 was confirmed on March 9 by Tennessee State Veterinarian Dr. Charles Hatcher. The state’s first case, a highly pathogenic strain of H7N9 avian influenza, was announced on March 5 and involved a broiler breeder flock in Lincoln County.

According to a press release from the Tennessee Department of Agriculture, officials do not believe that one premises sickened the other. Hatcher did not reveal for which company the birds in the Giles County flock were being raised, but he did say it was not the same company as the highly pathogenic avian influenza case, which was Tyson Foods.

Giles County is directly west of Lincoln County.


The case was discovered after routine screening tests at the Giles County operation indicated the presence of avian influenza. Tests performed at state and federal laboratories confirmed the existence of low pathogenic H7N9 avian influenza.

 “This is why we test and monitor for avian influenza,” State Hatcher said. “When routine testing showed a problem at this facility, the operators immediately took action and notified our lab. That fast response is critical to stopping the spread of this virus.”

Control measures in place

As a precaution, the affected Giles County flock was depopulated and has been buried. The premises is under quarantine.

Domesticated poultry within a 10 kilometer (6.2 mile) radius of the site are also under quarantine and are being tested and monitored for illness. To date, all additional samples have tested negative for avian influenza and no other flocks within the area have shown signs of illness.