A flock of chickens at a second Lincoln County commercial poultry breeding operation have tested positive for avian influenza, according to the Tennessee Department of Agriculture. 

Officials confirmed this particular strain of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) is the same that affected a commercial chicken flock earlier this month in Lincoln County. 

The two facilities are less than two miles apart so operators had been closely monitoring and testing the birds. 

“Wild birds can carry this strain of avian influenza.” State Veterinarian Dr. Charles Hatcher said. “Given the close proximity of the two premises, this is not unexpected. We will continue to execute our plan, working quickly to prevent the virus from spreading further.”

It's the third case of bird flu identified in Tennessee this month. On March 8, a flock in Giles County tested positive for low pathogenic avian influenza (LPAI). 

Officials stress that neither HPAI nor LPAI pose a risk to the food supply and none of the affected animals entered the food chain. 

The Tennessee Department of Health confirms that the risk of a human becoming ill with avian influenza during poultry illness incidents is very low. 

Officials said they will continue monitoring commercial and backyard poultry for signs of influenza.