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Missouri's agriculture department says they have prepared if the avian flu comes to Missouri

October 14, 2005
By: Elizabeth Baird
State Capital Bureau

Avian flu could be devastating if it ever hit Missouri, but the Missouri Department of AGriculture says they are prepared.

Elizabeth Baird has more from the Captiol.

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The Missouri Agriculture Department says it's taking precautions for avian flu, even though there have been no documented cases in the state.

Rose Foster coordinates the state department's poultry health program. She says the department has been working on avian flu prevention for over eight years.

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"Well, its definetly a much bigger concern of ours since 1997 because in 1997 was the first time it was documented that avian influenza could infect humans."

Foster also said the department is coordinating their efforts with Arkansas and Oklahoma.

From the state Capitol, I'm Elizabeth Baird

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Missouri doesn't test its chickens for avian flu.

But the state has tested its response to a possible pandemic. Rose Foster is the state's animal health coordinator.

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"We had an avian influenza outbreak as part of that exercise to test our plan and that helped us identify some areas that need to be improved, and we've made those changes to our plan."

The state ran its most recent exercise in Sedalia in March, home to only a part of Missouri's six million chickens.

From Jefferson City, I'm Elizabeth Baird.

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