Fear Fowl?

This is a partial transcript from "Your World with Neil Cavuto", February 13, 2004, that was edited for clarity.

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NEIL CAVUTO, HOST: Well, after the bird flu spread into Pennsylvania, my next guest says that they took all the necessary precautions and continue to. With us now on the phone is Secretary Dennis Wolff from the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture.

Secretary, thanks so much for joining us.


CAVUTO: How bad is it in your state?

WOLFF: Well, in Pennsylvania, we found one case on Wednesday through routine surveillance. We went in after the suspect flock was found and did a lot of testing, and we found that the flock did have a lot of positive tests to avian flu. And we are now trying to detect whether the virus is, in fact, being shed by these birds. As well as we had sent a sample out to Ames, Iowa, to get the strain of the avian flu that we have here in Pennsylvania.

CAVUTO: Just so I can be sure of maybe more of the semantics of this, Secretary, this is not the same flu that’s ravaged much of Asia, right?

WOLFF: No. Well, we are assuming that it is the H7N2 Virus, the same as Delaware has. That has been the type of avian flu that we have had here in Pennsylvania in previous years when we’ve had outbreaks. So we think it is the low-path avian flu that does not affect people.

CAVUTO: Let me get a sense, Secretary, if you are eating a contaminated chicken or having an egg from a contaminated chicken, what happens?

WOLFF: Well, even with the Asian flu, where it is transmitted to people, that is typically transmitted from live birds to human beings. Not through the eggs, nor the poultry products.

CAVUTO: So bottom line, even if you do have the misfortune of eating one of these birds, or its eggs, it’s not going to harm you?

WOLFF: That’s correct. And that is if, you know, we did happen to have the Asian variety or the Asian strain here, which is highly unlikely.

CAVUTO: All right. Secretary Dennis Wolff, we appreciate it. Thank you, sir.

WOLFF: You’re welcome.

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