A scientist harvests the H7N9 virus that grows in bird eggs. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention received samples of the virus from China. — James Gathany/CDC/Douglas E. Jordan / (CC0 1.0)
Bird flu killed 50.54 million birds in the United States this year, making it the deadliest outbreak in the country’s history. Data from the US Department of Agriculture. showed on Thursday.
The death of chickens, turkeys and other birds represents the worst animal health disaster in the US to date, surpassing the previous record of 50.5 million birds that died in a bird flu outbreak in 2015.
the The US outbreak began in February and poultry and non-poultry impacted in 46 states. As of November 15, the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) has confirmed bird flu in 264 commercial flocks and 356 backyard flocks.
Turkey farms accounted for more than 70 percent of commercial poultry farms infected in the outbreak, the USDA said.
Birds often die after becoming infected. Entire flocks, which can exceed a million birds in laying hen farms, are also culled to control the spread of the disease after one bird tests positive.
Poultry flock losses have pushed prices for turkey eggs and meat to record highs, worsening the economic pain for consumers facing red-hot inflation and making Thanksgiving celebrations more expensive in the US. Thursday in the United States, according to reports. NBC News.
Europe and Britain are also experiencing their worst bird flu crises, with some British supermarkets rationing customers’ egg purchases after the outbreak disrupted supplies.
“Wild birds continue to spread Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) across the country as they migrate, so avoiding contact between domestic flocks and wild birds is critical to protecting America’s poultry,” Rosemary said. Sifford, USDA veterinary director.
Farmers fought to keep the disease and wild birds out of their barns after increasing safety and cleaning measures after the 2015 outbreak. In 2015, about 30% of cases were traced directly to the source of wild birds, compared to 85% this year, the USDA said. Reuters.