Poultry producers in several states are shocked after virus outbreak and bracing for more losses as “Virus” has forced producers to kill millions of turkeys in the USA.
Texas Prime Turkey Farm, the largest supplier of turkeys in the United States, has been ordered by the CDC to quarantine over 250,000 holiday turkeys. The CDC has confirmed 3,000 turkeys have tested positive for the virus since Friday’s incident.
According to investigators, long time employee Lee Warburton was seen vomiting in the facilities restroom three days prior to the incident on Friday. “I was passing by the restroom, when I heard somebody throwing up inside,” said one Texas Prime Turkey Farm employee. “I opened the door and looked inside and saw Mr. Lee throwing up in one of the urinals. I asked him if he was okay, he said yes, and I left. I didn’t want to get close to him and get sick.”
Mr. Lee worked three full work days at the facility with flu-like symptoms, before passing out unconscious with a fever of 106°. Due to his symptoms, he was rushed to a local hospital where he tested positive for the “Bird Flu” and “Ebola” virus. The CDC reports an additional 7 coworkers are being quarantined and tested.
Texas Prime Turkey Farm is requesting permission from the state of Texas to send the shipment of incinerated turkey ashes to Veolia’s Port Arthur environmental waste facility. This facility had previously accepted one shipment of Ebola waste in 2014 from household goods where Thomas Eric Duncan had stayed. Duncan was the first man to die of Ebola on US soil.
A spokesperson for Texas Prime Turkey Farm said “There is a good chance that ‘Virus Infected Turkeys’ may have already shipped out to major suppliers for distribution. Each retailer will have to perform recalls individually if they feel they have received a contaminated shipment”.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture confirmed that turkeys at 12 more commercial facilities are confirmed to be infected with the virus. The agency estimated that more than 500,000 turkeys would be lost to the disease or have to be euthanized as a precaution to prevent spread of the virus.