The USDA Warns of Bird Flu Cases in the U.S

In January 2022, scientists in the Carolinas discovered bird flu in three ducks. For this reason, the U.S Department of Agriculture (USDA) has warned people who deal with birds, including hunters and farmers, to be more cautious.

Cases of bird flu are on the rise

In addition, the USDA has stated that scientists have found many cases of bird flu in the previous two months in Europe and Canada. However, the cases in the Carolinas are the first the organization has discovered in the last five years in the wild in the U.S.

The USDA states that this particular strain, the Eurasian H5 Avian Influenza, is not dangerous to humans. Despite this, it could be harmful to birds. This strain killed about 50 million birds in the country and harmed the turkey business in 2015.

Infection by avian flu drew mainstream attention in the early 2000s. Scientists found the H5N1 in 2006 in Nigeria, Egypt, and Germany. Since then, experts have considered the possibility of a pandemic, with officials in Utah giving guidelines of what to do in this case.

Despite these fears, the Associated Press reported that human-to-human transmission of avian virus had dropped. However, experts advise that bird handlers should watch out for signs of infections in the animals.

Signs of avian virus in birds

The symptoms of the disease in birds do not appear immediately. However, there are ways to spot bird flu. Farmers should watch out for purple coloration on their legs, a reduction in egg-laying, and breathing difficulties.

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that people handling birds work outside and wear gloves to minimize disease transmission. They should also cook eggs to an internal temperature of 165°.

The CDC explains that there are numerous strains of bird flu. Furthermore, these strains are shown by the letter N and H. To distinguish them. The H stands for hemagglutinin, while the N stands for Neuraminidase.

The first recent human case of the avian disease was in a Chinese male in 2021. This man had an H10N3 strain. Chinese authorities recognized that large-scale spread could be dangerous.

Although regulators urge Americans to be cautious, they still don’t know if the discovered strain could pose a risk to the agricultural sector or the human population as a whole.

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