Delaware State Fair bans poultry exhibitors amid bird flu fears

In this Oct. 21, 2015, file photo, cage-free chickens walk in a fenced pasture at an organic farm near Waukon, Iowa. (Charlie Neibergall / AP Photo)

In this Oct. 21, 2015, file photo, cage-free chickens walk in a fenced pasture at an organic farm near Waukon, Iowa. (Charlie Neibergall / AP Photo)

There will be no live poultry competitions or exhibits at the Delaware State Fair this year. The Delaware Department of Agriculture said this is a precaution to prevent the spread of a serious avian flu that has been spreading across the U.S. in recent months.

This announcement comes after Pennsylvania, Iowa, New York, and Minnesota temporarily banned live poultry sales and exhibitions recently as well.

This is an animal disease, not a human one, but it is serious.

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Millions of birds across the U.S. have been affected so far, including commercial poultry farms, backyard flocks, and wild birds. Pennsylvania has the highest number of affected birds in the country, after Iowa. A farm in Lancaster County killed more than a million birds earlier this month to keep the virus from spreading further, with more than a hundred farms in a six mile radius under quarantine.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said people should try to avoid contact with wild birds, as well as birds that appear ill, or have died.

Properly cooking chicken and eggs will kill the avian flu virus. However, the fallout from the virus could make eggs and chicken more expensive. The U.S. Department of Agriculture noted that stocks of frozen chickens are at historic lows.

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