Will A Deadly ‘Bird Flu’ Affect Minnesota Producers Again?
I sure hope we will not be singing the same hymn, second verse with Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza in Minnesota? Earlier this month Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza H5N1 was found in three ducks in the Carolinas. Plus, "multiple cases had been detected in Canada and Europe, but these new cases are reportedly the first seen in the wild in the United States in five years."
Can people get sick from the avian influenza?
At this point no, as far as we know! However, remember back in 2015 there was a lot of concern that the H5N1 bird flu would mutate and be able to infect humans. Lets hope that it does not mutate. I will never forget the outbreak in 2015 when 50 million turkeys died from H5N1. I was talking with a turkey grower I know about what it was like wondering if their barn and flock would break with H5N1. They said every morning when they opened the door they would "hold their breath" hoping they would not see sick or dead turkeys! The USDA called that outbreak " the most serious animal health disease incident" in the countries history.
It was more than a little concerning when I saw this news release from the USDA. On the positive side the turkey industry has learned and implemented even more biosecurity procedures. Plus, most turkeys in Minnesota are raised in barns. That will help protect them from wild birds spreading the bird flu.
It is also important that people do not help spread the bird flu. If you are a hunter, you could spread the bird flu by transporting birds from a hunting trip. I suspect even pet birds may be able to spread the bird flu if they are infected?