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Avian flu outbreak spreads concern for farmers in North Carolina

NORTH CAROLINA — The bird flu is spreading quickly across the country and causing major concerns for local poultry farmers and their livelihood.

A poultry farmer in Iredell County said he is taking no chances and put up signs on his farm telling people to stay away.

He even bought extra insurance after he learned the avian flu was detected in North Carolina more than 170 miles from his farm in February.

[ALSO READ: Zoos hiding birds as avian flu spreads in North America]

“It would wipe out the entire flock here. Not only loss of income you have to properly dispose of these birds as they die,” said Jim Fox.

There are reports that 90,000 turkeys and 280,000 chickens have been killed and composted to keep the virus from spreading.

Allen Guy, a poultry farmer who has half a million chickens in poultry houses in Alexander and Iredell Counties, said he limits who can enter the houses.

He sanitizes the vehicles used to transport and even requires his workers to change footwear and clothes when they go into the houses.

[ALSO READ: Bird flu outbreak on Indiana poultry farm results in nearly 30K turkeys being euthanized]

“We don’t even go to town and if we do it’s a change of clothes,” said Guy.

He said he hopes the warm weather this spring kills the virus and keeps it from spreading to the western part of the state.

“I want it to go away. It can ruin people if they have to euthanize all birds. No, that’s an ugly beast,” said Guy.

The state said the avian flu is considered low-risk to humans and there are no cases of this strain infecting a person.

(WATCH BELOW: Bird flu outbreak on Indiana poultry farm results in euthanizing of nearly 30k turkeys)

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