Avian influenza poses little threat to humans, in the initial stages of monitoring north Alabama affected areas

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MADISON COUNTY, Ala. - In the most recent suspected findings of bird flu in north Alabama, the Department of Public Health is taking on the role of supporting the State Department of Agriculture.

While the flu isn't as serious for humans...

"It's been a significant problem in parts of the world for people who raise poultry, and so that's a really big concern for Alabama or other states in the south that raise a lot of chickens, for example," said Assistant State Health Officer, Dr. Scott Harris.

Officials want the public to know, this situation does not pose a food safety threat. Although, they're asking those who work at a poultry farm to be cautious.

"If people do get infected, it's because they have very close contact with the virus or with the chickens themselves, so it's typically people that work directly with live birds," said Dr. Harris.

Dr. Harris says in most cases, the flu isn't transmitted person to person, but he understands why people may get a little worried and think things are worse than they really are.

"Everybody understands what the flu is, everybody understands chickens and how important they are to us, and so it's easy to make that leap," said Dr. Harris.