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Alaska fair cancels poultry exhibit amid bird flu concerns

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The Associated Press

Associated Press

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — Officials at the Alaska State Fair have decided not to hold their annual poultry show this year amid concerns over bird flu.

Fair's CEO, Jerome Hertel, said in a statement that officials believe it's best to "fail discreetly."

The Anchorage Daily News reported that Palmer's fair, which begins Aug. 19, typically features poultry exhibits such as geese, turkeys and ducks. Officials say the fair will continue to include a chick exhibit.

In late April, state officials announced the first confirmed case of a highly pathogenic avian influenza virus strain in Alaska. More than 100 cases have been confirmed so far, according to the state veterinary office. Most states have reported cases.

The office poses a low risk to human health, but the virus is highly contagious among birds and can affect all types of poultry, causing illness and death.

Officials at the Tanana Valley State Fair in Fairbanks also voted against including poultry this year.