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Egg producing plant shut down after discovery of H5N1 bird flu

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A producer of fresh eggs in the United States has temporarily shut down a plant in the southwestern state of Texas after the H5N1 strain of bird flu was detected in chickens.

Cal-Maine Foods issued a statement Tuesday that it had destroyed about 1.6 million egg-laying hens and another 337,000 young hens, equaling 3.6% of its total flock, after the virus was detected at the plant.

The company said it was working with government officials at all levels and other industry groups to “mitigate the risks of future outbreaks.” The company said there is no known risk of bird flu associated with eggs, and that none have been recalled.

Tuesday’s announcement came a day after Texas health officials announced that a person who had worked on a dairy farm with cows infected with bird flu tested positive for the virus. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control said this is the first case of a person catching bird flu from dairy cattle.

A person in the western state of Colorado tested positive for bird flu in 2022 after he had direct exposure to poultry and the culling of birds.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has reported an outbreak of bird flu in 11 dairy cattle herds across the states of Texas, Kansas, Michigan and New Mexico.

Some information for this report came from The Associated Press, Reuters,

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