Avian flu kills 50.54 million birds in US: worst outbreak on file
Greater than 50.54 million birds died in the USA worst chicken flu outbreak in US historical pastin line with information from Division of Agriculture, Reuters reviews. It additionally marks the worst animal well being catastrophe in US historical past.
Influenza impacts chickens, turkeys and different forms of birds and spreads quickly amongst birds, which has vastly affected poultry farmers. It’s also carried by wild birds, which has expanded the whole space affected. The flu has despatched poultry and egg costs hovering this vacation season.
Wild birds, together with geese, grouse and hawks, are identified to hold the virus — generally known as extremely pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) — in feces, feathers or by direct contact with the chicken.
The outbreak started in February and has contaminated birds and different birds in 46 states, in line with information from the USDA, in line with Reuters.
“As wild birds proceed to unfold HPAI throughout the nation as they migrate, stopping contact between home flocks and wild birds is essential to defending home poultry in the USA,” Rosemary Sifford, the USDA’s chief veterinary officer, informed Reuters.
Curiously, solely about 30 % of circumstances have been immediately linked to wild birds in the course of the 2015 outbreak, down from 85 % this yr, the USDA informed Reuters.
The U.S. Division of Agriculture mentioned turkey farms account for greater than 70 % of economic poultry amenities contaminated with this avian flu outbreak, and authorities officers are finding out these turkey farms to determine find out how to stop future outbreaks.
PEOPLE reached out to the USDA however didn’t instantly hear again.
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Whereas the US Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention mentioned there’s low threat to peoplethey nonetheless suggest avoiding all sick or useless birds.
Earlier this yr, the flu began elevating alarm flags. In response to the unfold of chicken flu within the US, some states have requested residents take away chicken feeders outdoors to forestall flocking of birds, particularly migratory species, and the unfold of chicken flu.
Division of Pure Assets for each Michigan and Illinois suggested residents to take away chicken feeders. To study extra about why wildlife specialists suggest this motion as a precaution, PEOPLE spoke to Dr. Gail Hansen, DVM, MPH, of Humane Society Veterinary Medication Affiliation — a part of artwork Humane Society of the USA.
“Extremely pathogenic avian influenza is unfold within the droppings and respiratory secretions of contaminated birds and could be simply transmitted by objects contaminated with virus particles. The virus is resistant and may survive chilly and freezing temperatures,” Dr. Hansen mentioned of why some argue departments might ask folks to take away feeders.
“The feeders encourage various kinds of birds to collect collectively, the place the virus can simply be shared between them, and shared surfaces can harbor the virus for a while,” she added.
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