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H5N2 Avian Influenza Continue To Flare, Killing Wild Birds And US Hens

First Posted: Jan 10, 2017 11:00 AM EST
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Migratory Birds Tested For Avian Flu In California

Migratory Birds Tested For Avian Flu In California(Photo : (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images))

Bird flu is back and is spreading quickly, targeting millions of hens in the United States of America. The US poultry is currently on high alert after the US Department of Agriculture announced that there was a dangerous strain of H5N2 avian influenza which was discovered on a duck in Fergus Country, Montana.

According to the US Department of Agriculture, the sample was taken from the hunter harvested bird through the use of routine surveillance. The bird was tested at the Colorado State University Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory for the thorough examination before being forwarded to the USDA's National Veterinary Services Laboratories in Ames, Iowa.

According to Dr. Jack Sher of the USDA Chief Veterinarian, the said bird appears to be one of the strains they saw during the outbreak in 2014 and 2015.

 "This finding serves as a powerful reminder that there is still avian influenza circulating in wild birds, and producers and industry need to continue to be vigilant about biosecurity to protect domestic poultry," Dr. Sher added.

The reports about the bird flu have triggered nightmares for several American egg farmers who lost more than $1 billion over six months after the virus rapidly spread from the migratory birds and into their flocks in 2015. The spread of the virus killed 48 million hens in 223 separate outbreaks in the country.

The rapid spread of the virus causes for egg prices to surge by as much as 31%. According to US Press From, the discovery of the virus would serve as a powerful reminder to people to be vigilant because there is still avian influenza circulating in wild birds.

Producers and industry must focus on the biosecurity to protect the domestic poultry. The virus is easily transmitted, and the excrement from the infected migratory fowl flying above the farms and barns can seep through the cracks in barn roofs.

If farmers found one bird to be sick, they must destroy the entire flock by gassing hundreds of birds to death at once.

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