The latest cases of bird flu, also known as « highly pathogenic avian influenza » (HPAI), have been confirmed in Idaho. On Saturday, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), announced that two non-commercial backyard flocks were infected in Caribou and Gooding counties. Affected flocks have been quarantined and are being depopulated to mitigate the spread of the virus, and the USDA continues to work on detecting the virus in commercial poultry operations, live bird markets, and bird populations. migrating wild birds across the country.
To date, HPAI has been detected in US wild birds in 31 states and in poultry in 26 states. The current outbreak in the United States, which has primarily affected wild waterfowl, commercial poultry, and backyard or hobby flocks on the East Coast, South, and Midwest, began in early January this year. . These are the first bird flu detections in the country since 2016. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 27 million poultry were affected. There have been 189 outbreaks so far, making it one of the worst bird flu outbreaks in US history.
Since April 6, the USDA announced that the epidemic had affected approximately 5% of the table egg laying flock. Losses to egg-laying flocks have led producers to rush desperately to meet market demand for eggs and egg products, driving up egg prices. The average price of a dozen eggs is now close to $3.00, down from $1.60 at the start of the year, according to the USDA National Report. egg report.
According to CDC, HPAI infects the respiratory and gastrointestinal tracts of birds. The virus can spread rapidly through poultry flocks, leading to high mortality rates. Symptoms in poultry may include lack of energy, decreased appetite, purple discoloration or swelling of body parts, diarrhea, runny nose, reduced egg production or death sudden. Speak CDC, the current avian flu epidemic is mainly considered an animal health problem. “Based on available epidemiological and virological information on these viruses, the CDC believes that the health risk to the general public from current H5N1 avian influenza viruses is low, however, some individuals may have occupational or recreational exposures to birds. which put them at a higher risk of infection,” the CDC said.
However, there have been human cases of bird flu in the past from other bird flu subtypes. In the United States as well as other countries, past outbreaks of avian flu have been associated with illness and death in people. This is rare, but can occur when infected birds shed the virus in their saliva, mucus and feces, and people then touch or inhale these virus particles. This can lead to symptoms such as conjunctivitis, fever, cough, sore throat, muscle aches, nausea, abdominal pain, diarrhea, vomiting, shortness of breath, etc. CDC.
Bird owners are advised to report sick birds or unusual bird deaths to state or federal authorities through their state veterinarian or by calling APHIS’s toll-free number at 1-866- 536-7593. Additional details regarding biosecurity for backyard flocks can be found on their website.