Over 50 million birds have died due to record-breaking outbreak of avian flu in the United States, according to the Department of Agriculture.
A total of 50.54 million birds died, this number included chickens and turkeys. The previous record was set in 2015. Flocks in over 40 states have been affected, which is over double the number of states than in the previous outbreak.
Avian flu is spread by wild birds which transmit the virus through feathers, faeces and as a result of direct contact.
“Wild birds continue to spread HPAI [highly pathogenic avian influenza] throughout the country as they migrate, so preventing contact between domestic flocks and wild birds is critical to protecting US poultry,” said Rosemary Sifford, the USDA’s chief veterinary officer, according to Reuters.
While it’s rare for humans to contract the disease, the CDC has urged people to practice common sense when in proximity to birds.
The CDC said early in November that Americans should take “preventative measures” – such as avoiding direct contact with wild birds and avoiding unprotected contact with poultry – to prevent spreading the disease to humans, pets, birds and other animals.
“This applies not just to workplace or wildlife settings, but potentially to household settings where people have backyard flocks or pet birds with potential exposures to wild or domestic infected birds,” the CDC advisory said.
World Health Organization (WHO) data shows that 868 cases of transmission from birds to humans were recorded between 2003 and 3 November 2022. The data confirmed that 456 people died from avian flu in that time frame.
ARTICLE: PAUL MURDOCH
MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE
PHOTO CREDITS: WENATCHEEWORLD.COM
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