avian flu

CDC: Bird flu virus lacks changes to make it a greater threat to people

Samples of the H5N1 bird flu virus that has infected dairy cattle and a dairy worker retain avian genetic characteristics and “for the most part lack changes that would make them better able to infect mammals,” said the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in a technical update. “The overall risk to human health associated with the ongoing HPAI A(H5) outbreaks in poultry and detections in wild birds and cattle remains low,” said the CDC.

U.S. unlikely to vaccinate against bird flu

The government will stamp out bird flu through aggressive culling of infected flocks and is unlikely to turn to vaccines as a tool against the disease, said Agriculture Undersecretary Jenny Moffitt on Tuesday. Moffitt told lawmakers the USDA has devoted $1.3 billion to quell a 14-month-old outbreak of highly pathogenic avian influenza and to keep African swine fever out of the country.

Outbreaks on turkey farms push U.S. bird flu total to 25 million

Four of every 10 outbreaks of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) this year have been on a turkey farm, with Minnesota and South Dakota hit the most frequently, USDA data showed on Tuesday. The USDA confirmed HPAI on seven additional farms holding 337,348 turkeys, lifting the U.S. total to just under 25 million birds, mostly chickens and turkeys, since the viral disease appeared among domestic flocks in early February.

Egg prices spike as bird flu outbreaks reach two-month mark

Americans will not run out of eggs in the ongoing outbreak of bird flu, the worst since 2015, says Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. Four percent of the U.S. layer flock has died in the two months since the first confirmation of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) on Feb. 8.

Turkey flock in Indiana culled after bird flu confirmed

A turkey farm in southern Indiana is the site of the first known case of highly pathogenic avian influenza in the United States since 2020, said the USDA on Wednesday. The 29,000-bird flock in Dubois County was being killed to prevent spread of the virus.

USDA says food inflation rate to soar, highest since 2008

Prices for common elements of the U.S. diet, from poultry and dairy to fruits and vegetables, are rising at double or triple their usual rate, said the government in forecasting the highest annual food inflation rate in 14 years. The Agriculture Department said food prices would rise an average of 5 percent this year, an abrupt two-point increase from its forecast a month ago.

Poultry breeder culls Alabama flock that might have bird flu

After tests suggested bird flu in a poultry flock in northern Alabama, the poultry breeding company Aviagen culled the flock and removed from its production line eggs that originated from the farm, says Reuters. The flock was one of three potential outbreaks of bird flu and followed discoveries across the state line in Tennessee a week earlier.

Bird flu suspected in three counties in northern Alabama

The Alabama state veterinarian issued a "stop movement" order affecting poultry because of three suspected cases of bird flu in northern counties that border Tennessee, said the state Department of Agriculture and Industries. The incidents follow the confirmation of highly pathogenic avian influenza on a broiler-breeder farm in southern Tennessee last week.

Pig CAFOs influence timing of human flu seasons, study shows

The enormous numbers of animals concentrated in industrial pig farms are changing the pattern of flu seasons, by providing flu viruses a place to jump between humans and animals and multiply faster than they otherwise would, according to new research from North Carolina — a state that is second only to Iowa in pig production.

Deadly bird flu found in mallard in Alaska

A mallard duck captured near Fairbanks, Alaska, and tested as part of a surveillance program was infected with highly pathogenic avian influenza, said USDA. It was the first confirmation of bird flu in the United States since June 2015, at the end of the worst bird flu epidemic to strike U.S. poultry flocks.

Higher-priced turkey pushes up cost of Thanksgiving dinner

The centerpiece of the Thanksgiving meal, a roasted turkey, will cost about 6 percent more than a year ago, the result of the avian influenza epidemic that swept turkey and poultry farms in the Midwest last spring.

Bird flu vaccination is wise precaution, says drug maker

Avian influenza, which killed nearly 50 million chickens and turkeys in the United States earlier this year, “can now erupt in many areas across the globe” since the virus is spread by migratory waterfowl, says Ceva, a French drug maker, in arguing for inoculation against the disease. The …

McDonald’s will switch to cage-free eggs

Fast-food giant McDonald's, which buys two billion eggs a year, equal to 4 percent of U.S. egg production, "will begin phasing out the use of eggs from hens housed in cages," said the New York Times, "a move that has significant implications for American and Canadian egg producers."

Wild duck with avian influenza found in Utah

Utah wildlife officials reported a mallard duck was the third waterfowl in the state with avian influenza since December, said the Associated Press.

A chicken that doesn’t pass along bird flu … but it’s GMO

British researchers have genetically engineered a chicken that is less susceptible to bird flu than other chickens and that does not infect its flockmates. "But these promising chickens ... won't likely gate-crash their way into poultry production any time soon," says Reuters.

Avian flu expected back in the fall

This spring the Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza epidemic tore through poultry farms across 15 U.S. states, leading to the death of 48 million birds. The bulk of those were egg-laying hens, though turkey production was affected, too.

Bird-flu cost to Iowa economy: $1.2 billion

A study by an Iowa consulting company estimates the state economy lost $1.2 billion due to the avian influenza epidemic, reports the Des Moines Register.

Holiday turkeys will cost more and may weigh less

Shoppers can expect "significantly higher" prices for their holiday turkey and the birds may weigh less than usual, all due to this year's avian influenza epidemic.

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