As per the USDA (US Department of Agriculture), bird flu has been detected at a commercial chicken operation based out of Wisconsin. In this statement, the USDA has mentioned about samples of flock being tested at local laboratory with confirmation at the National Veterinary Services Laboratories in Ames, Iowa.
In line with the above-mentioned findings, high alert has been raised amongst the local farms raising turkeys and chicken at the commercial level. Also, appropriate steps are being taken for increasing biosecurity amidst bird flu findings in various states of the US, as per the Associate Press.
The department has further stated that the farm property in Jefferson County of Wisconsin has been quarantined, wherein all the chicken in contaminated flock would be destroyed with immediate effect, thereby not letting them enter food system.
Bird Flu a.k.a. Avian Influenza
Bird flu, better known as “Avian Antisera”, comes across as one of the airborne respiratory viruses spreading amongst chicken through eye and nasal secretions.
The farmers are fearing repetition of bird flu outbreak that had happened in the year 2015, as it had compelled 50 Mn birds to succumb to it, that too, across 15 states. The losses incurred by the federal government amounted to US$ 15 Mn.
As per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the latest outbreak of bird flu is not as serious as the one in 2015, mentioning further that as of now there are no human cases pertaining to flu detected all across the US.
The Precautionary Measures
Besides, the David Traylor Zoo of Emporia, Sunset Zoo, and Topeka Zoo in Manhattan have started taking precautions after bird flu strain was discovered lately in the wild birds of Kansas. These zoos are known for having a huge population of exotic birds. The precautions mentioned above are being taken to prevent highly pathogenic avian influenza from spreading in the birds. Plus, The Kansas City Zoo has taken pains to move the bird species to adhere to concerns of the HPAI.
The zoo officials are more concerned about the Trumpeter swans. Coin feeders are being discontinued to avert wild waterfowl from entering zoo’s ponds. Also, the zoo staff is asked to not carry organic materials amongst bird habitats and changing the work shoes while making an entry to diverse workplaces. Footbaths are also being used.
The Kansas Department of Agriculture has, in the first place, warned people about spread of HPAI in the adjoining states on March 4. It was ultimately discovered in the wild bird species on March 9. The birds infected with bird flu could face respiratory disorders, or lay soft/shelled eggs, or show symptoms of diarrhea. Certain birds may also die without being symptomatic.
In all, the government is leaving no stone unturned in preventing the avian Influenza Diagnostics attain the status of “endemic”. If this control gets exercised well within time, losses could be under control as well. The entire food chain would get disturbed if avian influenza gets out of control. Timely management followed by proper awareness would definitely go a long way in getting out of this crisis.