The virus has killed more than 38.9 million birds.
Questions still exist about how the virus is being spread.
Michael Osterholm, director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota, said the poultry industry is in uncharted territory. The virus is “doing things we’ve never seen it do before,” so scientists’ understanding is very limited, he says.
“Influenza viruses have thought in the past to be transmitted by birds to birds in close contact and that it was only through that kind of transmission that we need to be concerned,” Osterholm says. “Now we surely have a very dynamic situation in the Midwest. It’s also a situation where we no longer can assume it’s just migratory birds.”
Other theories on the virus’s rapid transmission include small rodents infiltrating facilities, contaminated feed and water or that the virus could even be airborne.
(Source NPR – Avian Flu Outbreak Takes Poultry Producers Into Uncharted Territory, May 21, 2015)
As of May 21, 2015 the USDA reported: (Source NPR – Avian Flu Outbreak Takes Poultry Producers Into Uncharted Territory)
Now reaching to 15 states, the outbreak has been detected at 174 farms, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Because there’s no vaccine, infected and even healthy birds must be killed to try to stop the virus, forcing the killing of 38.9 million birds and counting, the USDA says.
This issue could last months possibly a couple of years. Hopefully, warmer temperatures will stop the spread of the disease soon.
Picture Source: Pixabay