HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding provided an update on Friday, April 22 on the Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) and what consumers should know about the evolving situation.
“While we’re very concerned about the threat this avian influenza outbreak is to Pennsylvania’s $7.1 billion poultry industry, food safety and availability is not something to worry about,” Redding said. “We encourage everyone in Pennsylvania to move forward with normal buying, cooking, and eating habits.”
The Centers for Diseases Control and Prevention has said that the avian flu does not present an immediate public health concern. No human cases of the virus have been detected in the United States. and eggs and poultry are safe to consume if stored and cooked at a proper temperature.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture has sent response teams to the commonwealth to coordinate with the state on a response plan to protect the state’s poultry industry amid this national outbreak of the avian flu.
As of April 20, there have been three affected commercial flocks, which total 3,450,100 birds. No backyard flocks have been affected. The up-to-date status of Pennsylvania cases can be found by clicking here.
Both commercial poultry farms and Pennsylvanians with backyard chickens should be on high alert to protect their flocks from this highly contagious, fatal disease. Domestic poultry, including chickens, ducks, geese, turkeys, guinea fowl, quail, pheasants, emus and ostriches are most susceptible to avian influenza.