Bird Flu Outbreak expands to US

At least 24 states have recently confirmed cases of avian influenza. The outbreak is driving up the cost of eggs and chicken. Public health officials say it is highly unlikely but not impossible for the virus to spread to humans.

Among the 24 states with bird flu outbreaks are Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, Texas, Virginia, Wisconsin and Wyoming.

Avian influenza (AI) is caused by an influenza type A virus which can infect poultry (such as chickens, turkeys, pheasants, quail, domestic ducks, geese, and guinea fowl) and wild birds (especially waterfowl).

AI viruses are classified by a combination of two groups of proteins: hemagglutinin or “H” proteins, of which there are 16 (H1-H16), and neuraminidase or “N” proteins, of which there are 9 (N1-N9). AI viruses are further classified by their pathogenicity–the ability of a particular virus strain to produce disease in domestic chickens.

Highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) virus strains are extremely infectious, often fatal to chickens, and can spread rapidly from flock-to-flock.

Low pathogenicity avian influenza (LPAI) virus strains occur naturally in wild migratory waterfowl and shorebirds without causing illness. LPAI can infect domestic poultry, creating little or no signs of illness.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says there is no risk to humans who eat eggs and chickens from infected flocks as long as they’re properly handled and thoroughly cooked.

Cooking to an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit kills bacteria and viruses, including bird flu viruses.

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Author: Debbie Kent

Debbie Crevier-Kent began her career as a licensed Real Estate agent. Seeing the need for lower real estate selling costs, she created easy to use FSBO service packages, starting in 1994. Ms. Crevier-Kent is a member, and and a member or NAR, NVAR, REIN, BRIGHT, WAAR, and CAAR

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