What you need to know about the bird flu outbreak
From Wyoming to Maine, an outbreak of highly contagious bird flu has swept through U.S. farms and backyard flocks this year, forcing millions of chickens and turkeys to be culled.
Iowa used to especially heavywith declared disaster in some counties and states live bird show cancellation in order that might affect the state’s famous fair.
Here’s what we know about bird flu.
What is bird flu?
Also known as bird flu, avian flu is a highly contagious and deadly virus that can prey on chickens, turkeys, and wild birds, including ducks and geese. It is spread through nasal secretions, saliva and feces, which experts say is difficult to prevent.
Symptoms of the virus include a sudden increase in a flock’s mortality, a decrease in egg production, and a decrease in feed and water consumption.
The Eurasian H5N1 virus is closely related to a Asian Tensions has infected hundreds of people since 2003, mostly people who have worked with infected poultry. Its popular in the United States was not unexpected, with outbreaks previously reported in Asia, the Middle East and Europe.
Should people worry about getting infected?
The risk to humans is very low, said Ron Kean, a faculty associate and extension specialist at the University of Wisconsin at Madison in the dairy and animal sciences department.
Professor Kean said: “It’s not impossible for humans to get this virus, but it’s quite rare.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said it was monitoring people in the United States who came into contact with infected poultry and other birds. To date, there have been no cases of H5N1 infection among them, the CDC said.
Is it safe to eat poultry and eggs?
Yes, according to the United States Department of Agriculture, said that properly prepared and cooked poultry and eggs pose no risk to consumers.
The agency said the chances of infected poultry entering the food chain were “extremely low”. According to federal guidelines, Food safety and inspection service, a division of the USDA, responsible for inspecting all poultry sold in interstate and foreign commerce. According to the service, inspectors are required to be present at all times during the slaughter process, which notes that inspectors are not allowed access to those facilities.
Federally regulated egg production facilities are required to test once per shift daily, according to the testing agency. State inspection programs, which test poultry products sold only in the state in which they are produced, are additionally monitored by the USDA
Due to the mandatory culling of infected flocks, the virus is primarily an animal health issue at this time, experts say.
However, USDA recommends Cook poultry to an internal temperature of 165 Fahrenheit to reduce the risk of foodborne illness.
Can I pay more for poultry products?
Egg prices skyrocketed during an outbreak in the United States in 2014 and 2015. Recently, the average price of high-end large white eggs has “trended sharply higher,” according to a May 25 date. 3 national retail report released by the USDA, experts say If the infection goes through more flocks, there may be some shortage of eggs. Price of white chicken and dark chicken also riseAccording to USDA experts also warn that turkey prices could also become more volatile.
How are viruses detected?
Avian flu testing usually involves swabbing the mouth and tracheal area of chickens and turkeys. Samples are sent to a diagnostic lab to be analyzed.
Outbreaks have been detected in more than a dozen states.
As of March 31, a highly virulent form of avian influenza has been detected in 19 states, a tracking page maintained by the USDA shows.
According to the agency, the total number of birds in infected flocks – commercial and free-range – totals more than 17 million. A USDA spokesman confirmed that those birds will be required to be fed to prevent the spread of the virus.
According to the USDA, a commercial egg production facility in Buena Vista County, Iowa, is the largest flock of infected chickens and includes more than 5.3 million chickens.
Next is an egg producer in Jefferson County, Wis., on the list, with more than 2.7 million chickens. A commercial poultry flock in New Castle County, Del., is the third largest infected flock, with more than 1.1 million chickens.
How do these outbreaks compare to previous ones?
The broke out in 2014 and 2015 in the United States has been blamed for $3 billion in damage to the agricultural industry and is considered the most destructive in the nation’s history. Nearly 50 million birds have died, either from the virus or from culling, most of them in Iowa or Minnesota.
The trail of the current outbreak, which extends from the Midwest and Plains to northern New England, has raised concerns.
“I think we’re definitely seeing more geographic spread than we saw between 2014-” said Dr Andrew Bowman, an associate professor in the Ohio State University School of Veterinary Medicine. 2015.
What can be done to prevent the spread of the virus?
As early as last year, USDA warning of possible outbreak of avian flu and emphasized the strengthening of “biosecurity” measures to protect chickens and turkeys.
Biosecurity measures include restricting access to livestock and requiring farm workers to implement strict hygiene measures such as wearing disposable boots and coveralls. Experts say that sharing farm equipment could contribute to the spread of the virus. As a result, farm workers may come into contact with wild birds, including when hunting.
Dr Bowman said: “Whether it’s limiting access to where we get our food and water, even trucking routes, how do we try to limit those connections? system can spread pathogens between herds,” Dr. Bowman said. “At this point, every poultry farmer must consider how to improve their biosecurity.”
Is it necessary to kill millions of chickens and turkeys?
According to the USDA, infected birds can experience complete paralysis, swelling around the eyes, and contortion of the head and neck.
Methods include suffocating foam for chickens and turkeys. In other cases, carbon dioxide is used to kill the birds, whose carcasses are often incubated or dumped in landfills.
“It’s arguably more humane than letting them die from the virus,” Professor Kean said.