MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. (AP) — A highly pathogenic avian influenza virus that has appeared in U.S. poultry for the first time this season has been detected on a turkey farm in South Dakota, and Utah is also The discovery of the virus has raised concerns that more outbreaks could occur.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture reported that avian influenza infections were confirmed on October 4 at a farm with 47,300 turkeys in Jerrold County, South Dakota, and on Friday at a farm with 141,800 turkeys in Sanpete County, Utah. fatal. .
This is the first outbreak of the disease on a commercial farm in the country since the disease affected two turkey farms in North and South Dakota in April. Infected birds are often euthanized to prevent the spread of the disease, and the farm is subsequently decontaminated.
Before last week, the only reports of bird flu in the U.S. in recent months had been sporadic appearances in private chicken flocks or in wild birds such as ducks, geese and hawks. Although wild birds typically do not show symptoms of avian influenza, infection is a problem for the poultry industry because migratory birds can spread the disease to commercial farms.
“I have no doubt we’re going to have more cases,” South Dakota veterinarian Beth Thompson said in an interview Tuesday. “I would be very surprised if this is all, because the migration has only just begun.”
Last year, bird flu forced poultry producers in 47 U.S. states to cull nearly 59 million birds, including laying hens, turkeys and broilers, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, making it the deadliest outbreak in U.S. history. epidemic. The epidemic has led to higher prices for consumer eggs and turkey products, costing the government more than $660 million.
The 2015 outbreak is considered the costliest animal health disaster in U.S. history, costing more than $1 billion and killing nearly 51 million poultry in 15 states.
Human infections with avian influenza are relatively rare and are not considered a food safety risk. But because it affects other species, including some mammals, scientists worry the virus may evolve and spread more easily among humans. Cambodia this week reported its third death from bird flu so far this year.
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