Bird flu reappears in US commercial poultry

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Highly pathogenic avian flu has once again impacted poultry flocks commercials in the United States during this season, raising concerns in the industry. The latest outbreaks have been confirmed at a turkey farm in South Dakota and another in Utah, according to the United States Department of Agriculture.

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The first incidence was reported on October 4 in a flock of 47,300 turkeys in Jerauld County, South Dakota, and the second case occurred last Friday on a farm with 141,800 birds in Sanpete County, South Dakota. Utah. Bird flu, which is deadly to commercial birds, has led to the destruction of affected flocks to prevent the spread of the disease, in addition to the decontamination of the facilities.

These are the first outbreaks reported among commercial flocks in the United States since April, when the disease struck two turkey farms in the Dakotas. Before last week, cases were limited to sporadic appearances in backyard flocks or among wild birds such as ducks, geese and eagles.

Although wild birds often do not show symptoms of avian influenza, Infections in these birds are a serious concern for the poultry industry, since migratory birds can transmit the disease and They can affect the market with product shortages and price increases.

Experts warn that there are likely to be more cases in the near future, as the migration season is just beginning. Last year, bird flu resulted in the loss of nearly 59 million birds in 47 statesincluding laying hens, turkeys and chickens raised for meat, making it the deadliest outbreak in the country's history. This outbreak also caused increases in egg and turkey prices for consumersand cost the government more than 660 million dollars.

Although avian flu infections in humans are rare and are not considered a food safety risk, Scientists are concerned the virus could evolve and spread more easily between people. This concern is supported by recent reports from Cambodia, which has recorded its third human death from bird flu this year.

Agricultural officialsThey consider this year's cases to be related to last year's outbreak, which arrived in the United States in February 2022 after spreading through Europe. The country has imposed periodic restrictions on poultry imports from Europe to limit the potential for spread.

Authorities are urging bird owners to strengthen their biosecurity practices, although producers have already implemented strict measures for several years to prevent the virus from entering their herds. The main strategy is to prevent wild bird droppings from reaching poultry houses, either on workers' shoes and clothing or via farm equipment, mice, small birds and even dust particles.

This latest case in Utah marks the first this year in the state, but last year, 16 turkey farms, one egg farm and several backyard flocks were affected in the region. South Dakota producers lost nearly 4 million birds last year, while Iowa, the hardest-hit state with nearly 16 million birds lost, has seen no cases since March. The poultry industry remains on alert as it faces the challenges posed by this persistent threat.

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