A third case of avian influenza has struck southern Tennessee, confirmed the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) on March 16. The highly pathogenic H7N9 infection occurred in a commercial breeder flock in Lincoln County, Tennessee, where the state’s first 2017 case occurred. 

Tennessee’s third avian influenza case struck a flock of 55,000 chickens. The affected facility was located in the Mississippi flyway, a migratory bird route, within three kilometers of the first Tennessee case.

First and second avian influenza cases in Tennessee

On March 5, Tennessee State Veterinarian Dr. Charles Hatcher publicly confirmed the first highly pathogenic H7N9 avian influenza outbreak in Lincoln County at a Tyson Foods broiler breeding facility.


On March 9, Officials announced a low pathogenic avian influenza case in a commercial broiler breeder flock in Giles County, Tennessee. 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 Tyson.

Avian influenza potentially in Alabama

Lincoln County borders Alabama, where three possible avian influenza cases are under investigation. On March 14, the Alabama Department of Agriculture and Industries (ADAI) issued a stop movement order for certain poultry in the U.S. state, after the three potential cases of avian influenza were identified. The order halts movement of birds to poultry shows, swap meets, flea markets and poultry auctions. Samples from the Alabama flocks have been sent for laboratory analysis to determine if avian influenza has struck the state.