'Highly Pathogenic' Bird Flu Detected On Long Island, Poultry Farmers On Alert
According to a statement released by the United States Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, a "highly pathogenic" bird flu is spreading across the United States, with the latest infections detected in a non-commercial backyard flock (non-poultry) in Suffolk County, New York (APHIS).
On Saturday, the APHIS confirmed positive tests for highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) in a "small, non-commercial backyard flock" on Long Island, according to the agency.
Farmers in the vicinity have been warned to be on the lookout.
"The afflicted properties have been quarantined, and the birds on the properties will be depopulated to prevent the sickness from spreading.
The flock's birds will not reach the food chain "In a statement, APHIS said.
Other states are reporting outbreaks despite the United States having the "strongest A.I. monitoring program" to monitor illness in commercial chicken farms, live bird markets, and migratory wild bird populations.
HPAI has been found in bird flocks in Kentucky, Indiana, and Virginia.
Poultry producers in those states have begun culling affected flocks to prevent the virus from spreading.
"US surveillance operations have discovered the virus in wild birds in recent weeks in New Hampshire, Delaware, North Carolina, Virginia, Florida, and South Carolina," according to ABC7 New York.
According to APHIS, no human cases of avian influenza viruses have been found in the United States.
Consumers who eat chicken should boil the meat and eggs to an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit to destroy the virus, according to the CDC.
They claim that the farm in Kentucky where HPAI was discovered is one among thousands that grow hens and that it will have no effect on general supply.
The firm is taking precautions to prevent the virus from spreading by "increasing bio-security measures at other farms in the vicinity, imposing further limits on visits, and continuing to test all flocks before they leave the farms," according to the company.
According to a business statement, "Tyson Foods' chicken products remain safe: the USDA affirms that avian influenza does not represent a food safety concern to consumers in poultry that is properly prepared and cooked."
So far, there are no signs (yet) that the United States will repeat the 2014-15 bird flu pandemic, which resulted in the culling of over 50 million hens and turkeys and a $3.3 billion economic loss.
The spread of the HPAI, on the other hand, comes at a bad moment, since supermarket prices for boneless breast per pound are approximately $3.726, a multi-decade high (keep in mind that overall food prices are at record highs).
Chicken prices may rise in the future owing to supply limits caused by mass cullings.
HPAI A(h5) Cause Illness and Death in Domestic Poultry, Human Infections With HPAI A(h5) Bird Flu Viruses Can Occur.
Ancestors of these HPAI A(H5N1) viruses first emerged in southern China and led to large poultry outbreaks in Hong Kong in 1997, which resulted in 18 human infections. The outbreak was controlled, but the HPAI A(H5N1) virus was not eradicated in birds and re-surfaced in 2003 to spread widely in birds throughout Asia, and later in Africa, Europe, and the Middle East, causing sporadic human infections. HPAI A(H5) viruses were detected in North America in 2014 causing widespread poultry outbreaks and wild bird mortality events in Canada and the United States before disappearing in 2016.
Since 2003, 19 countries have reported 864 human infections and 456 deaths with HPAI A(H5N1) virus to the World Health Organization (WHO) as of January 21, 2022. The most recent human infection with HPAI A(H5N1) virus was reported in the United Kingdom in January 2022external icon in association with exposure to domestically kept infected birds.
Risk of Infected birds shed avian influenza A viruses in their saliva, mucous and feces. Human infections with bird flu viruses can happen when enough virus gets into a person’s eyes, nose or mouth, or is inhaled. People with close or prolonged unprotected contact with infected birds or contaminated environments may be at greater infection. Illnesses in humans from avian influenza A virus infections have ranged from mild (e.g., eye infection, upper respiratory symptoms) to severe illness (e.g., pneumonia) resulting in death. The spread of avian influenza A viruses from one sick person to another is very rare, and when it has happened, it has not led to sustained spread among people YET.
Authorities with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) said bird influenza has now been detected in flocks of birds in Kentucky and Virginia, just days after the officials said that thousands of birds were sickened with the flu in Indiana.
According to the agency, bird flu was found in Fauquier County, Virginia; and in Fulton County, Kentucky, on Feb. 12, in non-poultry birds and commercial broiler chickens, respectively. On Feb. 8, bird influenza was detected in commercial turkeys in Dubois County, Indiana.
In a statement, the USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service did not say whether the outbreak involved H5N1, the same highly pathogenic virus found extensively in wild birds and on the Indiana turkey farm.
Citing the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the USDA said that “these avian influenza detection do not present an immediate public health concern.”
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