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Avian flu epidemic wipes out 50.54 million American birds, a document.

CHICAGO, Nov 24 (Reuters) – Avian flu has worn out 50.54 million birds in the US this yr, making it the deadliest outbreak in historical past, U.S. Division of Agriculture information confirmed on Thursday.

The deaths of chickens, turkeys and different birds symbolize America’s worst animal well being catastrophe ever, topping the earlier document of fifty.5 million birds that died within the 2015 avian flu epidemic.

Birds usually die after an infection. Total flocks, which may high one million birds on egg-laying rooster farms, are additionally culled to manage the unfold of illness after birds check optimistic.

The lack of rooster flocks despatched egg and turkey costs to document highs, including to the financial ache for inflation-stricken customers and making Thursday’s Thanksgiving celebrations within the US dearer. Europe and Britain are additionally struggling the worst of the fowl flu disaster, and a few British supermarkets have rationed customers’ egg purchases after the outbreak disrupted provides.

USDA information present that the US outbreak, which started in February, affected poultry and non-poultry flocks in 46 states. Wild birds reminiscent of geese transmit the virus, referred to as extremely pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI), by means of direct contact with their feces, feathers or poultry.

“Wild birds proceed to unfold HPAI throughout the nation as they migrate, so stopping contact between home flocks and wild birds is vital to defending U.S. poultry,” stated USDA Chief Veterinary Officer Rosemary Safford.

Farmers have struggled to maintain illness and wild birds out of their barns after rising security and sanitation measures following the 2015 outbreak. In 2015, about 30 p.c of circumstances had been traced on to wild birds of origin, in contrast with 85 p.c this yr, the USDA advised Reuters.

Authorities officers are learning infections on turkey farms, particularly, in hopes of growing new suggestions for stopping infections. Greater than 70 p.c of business poultry farms affected by the outbreak are turkey farms, the USDA stated.

The U.S. Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention stated individuals ought to keep away from unprotected contact with birds that look sick or have died, though the outbreak poses little danger to most people.

Reporting by Tom Polanski; Edited by Jonathan Oates and Sandra Miller

Our Requirements: Thomson Reuters Belief Rules.

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