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US Identifies More H5N1 Highly Virulent Avian Influenza Cases; Know Possible Transmission

All three cases are of the H5N1 strain of avian flu, which has sparked a wave of outbreaks in poultry throughout Europe and Asia.

Shivani Meena
Birds Death
Birds Death

The US Department of Agriculture confirmed two new cases of highly deadly avian influenza in wild birds on Tuesday, only days after discovering the first incidence of the virus's Eurasian H5 strain since 2016. Two instances of Eurasian H5 avian influenza have been identified in South Carolina's Colleton County, while one case has been recorded in North Carolina's Hyde County.

The three instances, which were recorded in American wigeon, blue-winged teal, and northern shoveler, are all the H5N1 strain, which has triggered a wave of bird flu outbreaks in poultry throughout Europe and Asia. Even though H5N1 is one of the few bird flu strains that has been transferred to humans, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention believes the risk to the general population is still low.

Through direct contact as well as through their feathers or excrement, wild birds can spread avian flu to each other or poultry.

According to the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), no human infections with Eurasian H5 viruses have been documented in the United States. As a precaution, poultry and eggs should be handled carefully and cooked to an internal temperature of 165°F, which kills pathogenic microbes.

The US agency has encouraged people to avoid direct contact with wild birds taking safety precautions by wearing gloves since wild birds can become infected with H5N1 without being sick.

"If contact happens, wash your hands with soap and water and change your clothes before contacting healthy domestic poultry and birds." "Hunters should dress game birds in the field wherever feasible and use excellent biosecurity to limit disease transmission," according to the announcement.

The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) has recommended poultry breeders to keep their birds away from wild birds and to report sick or unusual bird deaths to state or federal agencies.

The World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) reported an outbreak of H5N1 avian flu on a farm north of Madrid on Tuesday.

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