Alabama Department of Public Health says no food risk with avian flu outbreak

LAUDERDALE COUNTY, Ala. -- Now in Alabama, the State Department of Agriculture said there are possible cases of bird flu in Jackson, Lauderdale, and Madison counties.

They are working with other agencies, such as the Alabama Department of Public Health to ensure they are covering all aspects of the situation.

And with the recent outbreak in North Alabama, you might be second guessing eating any chicken. But, Assistant State Health Officer Dr. Karen Landers said there's no need to worry.

"Avian influenza is not transmitted from consuming poultry, so that's an important message that we want to reaffirm to the general public," she explained.

Instead, she said this is a respiratory illness spread among flocks of birds. The CDC said the risk to humans is very low.

"Our concern specifically is related to persons who might have been exposed to birds in that flock or in that situation," said Dr. Landers.

Such as the chicken farm workers. If that is the case, the state departments are ready to handle it.

"We would have a very robust surveillance of those persons," said Dr. Landers, meaning they know who they are, and would take the proper steps to address the situation.

Dr. Landers said she understands the public's concern, but wants people to know they are working together with other state departments to get it under control as quickly as possible.

"This is something that we do have planning concerning this, we do have information out," she said.

On Tuesday, the Alabama State Department of Agriculture also issued a stop movement order for certain poultry in Alabama.