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Guam halts import of poultry from Colorado due to avian flu outbreak

By Pacific Island Times News Staff

The Department of Agriculture today announced a temporary ban on live poultry imports from the state of Colorado, eastward due to highly pathogenic avian influenza outbreak sweeping the United States.

This ban will go into effect immediately.

In mid-January of this year the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service confirmed highly pathogenic Eurasian H5 avian influenza (HPAI) on the east coast which has since been migrating westward.

On Feb. 24, the inspection office confirmed the presence of HPAI in a non-commercial backyard flock in Michigan.

Out of an abundance of caution, the Guam Department of Agriculture said the temporary ban will remain in place until the spread of the virus has subsided.

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As the outbreak develops, there may be a need to further alter the boundaries of the ban in response to the spread of the virus, the department said.

"This temporary ban applies to live poultry only, as there is no threat from poultry commodities such as meat and eggs," the department said. "The USDA has issued a reminder that the proper handling and cooking of poultry and eggs to an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit kills bacteria and viruses."

At this time the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention has declared the current HPAI detections do not present an immediate human health concern.

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