29,000 turkeys killed to prevent highly pathogenic strain of bird flu in US

According to recent news, a highly pathogenic strain of bird flu has been identified in a commercial flock of turkeys. To prevent the highly pathogenic strain from spreading further, the farm had to cull 29,000 turkeys in Dubois County, Indiana.

Highly contagious bird flu

Influenza viruses are constantly changing, and animal influenza viruses can change in such a way that they can acquire the ability to easily infect people and spread between people, causing a pandemic.

Avian influenza, also known as influenza A virus, can infect poultry. Not only does the virus infect chickens and turkeys, but also free-ranging waterfowl such as ducks, geese and shorebirds.

According to the latest news published by ReutersThe outbreak was detected in a flock of turkeys in Indiana on Wednesday, making it the country’s first case on a commercial poultry operation since 2020. The USDA also announced on its website that China and Korea have blocked Indiana’s unheated poultry meat, while Taiwan has restricted poultry meat and egg products from the state.

No human cases of these avian influenza viruses have been detected in the United States. As part of existing avian flu response plans, federal and state partners are working together on testing and additional surveillance. Anyone involved in poultry production, whether from a small backyard or a large commercial producer, should examine and verify the health of their birds with biosecurity practices, as it is not uncommon to detect avian influenza in wild birds, as these viruses circulate freely in these populations. without the birds appearing sick.

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29,000 turkeys slaughtered in Indiana

Indiana says the strain entered a flyway for birds called the Mississippi Flyway that includes major U.S. poultry-producing states like Mississippi, said Jim Sumner, president of the USA Poultry & Egg Export Council.

“This is the first confirmed case of HPAI in commercial poultry in the United States since 2020,” the USDA statement said. And it’s the first case of H5N1 infection in Indiana among commercial poultry since 2016, Reuters reported. During this 2016 outbreak, more than a dozen commercial flocks in the state were affected and more than 400,000 birds were culled, according to the Indy Star.

Federal officials have assured that this does not present an immediate public health concern, but it does worry farmers and industrialists, as nearly 30,000 turkeys have already been euthanized in an effort to control the spread.

According to LiveScience, the highly pathogenic strain was first spotted in wild bird populations in North and South Carolina last month. Wild birds in eastern Canada also tested positive for the virus around this time.

On Monday (February 7), an Indiana farmer estimated there were 100 dead turkeys in his barn. He also said the surviving turkeys seemed lethargic. After some testing by the USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), the National Veterinary Services Laboratories in Ames, Iowa; the birds were revealed to have been killed by highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI).

According to the USDA, proper handling and cooking of poultry and eggs to an internal temperature of 165 F [73.8 degrees Celsius] kills bacteria and viruses. Safe food handling practices would be enough to kill the H5N1 virus.

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