Officials from Nebraska’s agriculture department say that another 1.8million chickens need to be slaughtered after the virus was discovered on a Nebraska farm. This is the latest indication that the disease that caused the deaths of over 50 million birds in America continues.
The Nebraska Department of Agriculture said Saturday that the state’s 13th case of bird flu was found on an egg-laying farm in northeast Nebraska’s Dixon County, about 120 miles (193 kilometers) north of Omaha, Nebraska.
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To limit bird flu spread, the Nebraska chicken farm will slaughter all its birds. The U.S. Department of Agriculture says more than 52.3 million birds in 46 states — mostly chickens and turkeys on commercial farms — have been slaughtered as part of this year’s outbreak.
Nebraska is second only to Iowa’s 15.5 million birds killed with 6.8 million birds now affected at 13 farms.
In most past bird flu outbreaks the virus largely died off during the summer, but this year’s version found a way to linger and started to make a resurgence this fall with more than 6 million birds killed in September.
The disease is spread mainly by wild birds that migrate throughout the country. The disease can be carried by wild birds without displaying symptoms. The virus can spread through the droppings and nasal discharge from infected birds, which can then contaminate soil and dust.
While commercial farms can take a variety of precautionary measures to keep the virus out of their flocks’ hands, such as requiring employees to change before they go into the barns or sanitizing vehicles when they leave the farm, the virus is difficult to eradicate. Some exhibits at zoos were also closed to prevent the disease from infecting their birds.
Officials say there is little risk to human health from the virus because human cases are extremely rare and the infected birds aren’t allowed to enter the nation’s food supply. You can also kill viruses by cooking the poultry at 165 degrees Fahrenheit.
However, the rise in chicken and turkey prices and the high cost of fuel and feed has been a result of the bird flu pandemic.
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This article was written by The Associated Press.
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