Viruses are nearly usually lethal. As it spreads east to west, a highly contagious H5N1 avian flu outbreak with serious consequences is moving from farm to table.
The bird flu has been found in commercial and backyard flocks in 29 states, impacting more than 33 million birds, according to the US Department of Agriculture.
60,000 hens have been killed in Colorado alone, according to state veterinarian Dr. Maggie Baldwin.
“2022 will most likely be one of the deadliest epidemics we’ve ever seen,” she warned. “And if we don’t go in and euthanize the birds gently, they will succumb to the sickness. And it’s sad not just for us, as vets, but also for the officials who respond — but it’s also really difficult for producers and bird owners.”
The virus is mostly carried by migratory wild birds, particularly waterfowl such as ducks and geese. Raptors such as bald eagles are also affected.
“It’s a difficult task. Because the wild birds ignore our quarantine orders and the borders we attempted to establish, “Baldwin went on.
“Biosecurity” is the keyword at chicken farms across the country, which means shutting down, disinfecting everything with bleach, and shooing wild birds away.
Nancy Kellner, a poultry breeder, stated, “Nothing gets to go outdoors right now.” “Pigeons are plentiful in this area. So whether they drink from puddles, carry it on their beaks, or defecate in the water, it may be taken in if we walk across the puddle.”
People do not appear to be affected by the virus, according to experts.
“At this moment, there isn’t really a risk to the general people,” Baldwin said. “The risk comes in when you know you’ve had direct contact with a verified sick bird.”
However, consumers are not immune to an increase in egg prices. In the last several months, the wholesale price of a dozen eggs has quadrupled.
Courtesy Bol News