1. Home
  2. Animal Husbandry

Poultry Farmers Alert: Bird Flu Spreading in the US

The outbreak of avian influenza viruses in the US is accelerating.

Kritika Madhukar
Birds at Poultry Farm
Birds at Poultry Farm

Avian influenza (HPAI) A(H5N1) viruses has being detected all over the US wild birds. The viruses detected are said to be highly contagious and pathogenic. The outbreak has led to mass cullings of both poultry and wild birds. The scientists are very concerned about the rate at which this outbreak is accelerating.  

A scientist who has been tracking the whole situation since the outbreak warned that the infection could reach up to historic levels. 

According to the experts, it is likely that the infection is spreading through the wild birds, which are returning from their winter grounds. They are scared that the number of infected birds could be even higher when spring migration peaks.  

Poultry farmers have been ordered by the government to report any sick or dying bird. They are also indicated to take appropriate safety measures and should prevent contact between the farmed birds and wild birds.  

The risk to public health from avian influenza is low. However,  it still poses some risks to the poultry farmers who come in direct contact with the birds. The strain does not spread among humans efficiently, however, when it does spread, it can be fatal. The Eurasian H5N1 virus is closely related to an Asian strain of virus that infected hundreds of people back in 2003 and caused havoc. The H5N1 virus is currently being closely monitored by scientists. 

The most worried farmers right now are the turkey farmers of Kentucky and Indiana, as many of the farms were closed after it was found that their birds were infected.   

In 2014 and 2015, one such outbreak had cost the poultry industry about 3 billion dollars although the federal government provided farmers with the compensation.

The birds that were infected weren't so fortunate. Nearly, 50 million birds were killed or culled because of the virus, in the states of Iowa and Minnesota.

International No Diet Day 2024 Quiz Take a quiz
Share your comments
FactCheck in Agriculture Project

Subscribe to our Newsletter. You choose the topics of your interest and we'll send you handpicked news and latest updates based on your choice.

Subscribe Newsletters