State on 'high alert' after bird flu outbreak in Jefferson County – WISN Milwaukee

Gov. Tony Evers says state watching for any signs of human infection
Gov. Tony Evers says state watching for any signs of human infection
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Gov. Tony Evers says state watching for any signs of human infection
The state says it’s on high alert following that bird flu outbreak in Jefferson County.
It’s the first time WISN 12 has heard from investigators since news of the outbreak in Palmyra more than three weeks ago.
There are growing concerns over the area’s drinking water.
WISN 12 cameras witnessed workers in protective gear being disinfected at the site where millions of bird flu infected chickens are being composted and saw trucks being sprayed down as they left the site Wednesday.

Lyle and Kay Braaten live just across the road.
“What have you heard from the state?” WISN 12’s Kent Wainscott asked.
“What I’ve heard from the state is, nothing, basically,” Lyle Braaten said.
They’ve been trying to get answers about possible contamination of their groundwater and well.
Recently, the state did supply neighbors with water test kits.
“We did get the kits. We did take the samples,” Kay Braaten said.
The results of their baseline test aren’t complete yet, but WISN 12 took their concerns to state officials, who spoke for the first time since the start of the outbreak.
“How much of a concern is groundwater contamination and well contamination?” Wainscott asked.
“We feel very confident that the risk to any groundwater is virtually nothing,” Wisconsin Department of Health Services epidemiologist Tom Haupt said.
But the recent discovery of the virus in wild birds in several counties, including Milwaukee, raises another concern.
“Because it has been identified in wild birds, how likely is it that there will be other outbreaks?” Wainscott asked.
“We’re definitely on high alert. As I mentioned, these wild birds are migrating through and we know that will continue to happen over the coming weeks,” said Darlene Konkle of the Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection.
Meanwhile, Gov. Tony Evers said Wednesday the state has yet to see any signs of bird flu in humans but is watching.
“We’re monitoring specifically to make sure that there’s no transmission of that disease to humans,” Evers said.
The state health department said it has tested several people who were in close contact with the infected birds.
So far all have been negative.

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