According to Professor Jennifer Mullinax from the University of Maryland, the virus is “wiping out everything in numbers we’ve never seen before,” she told Sky News. According to Reuters, the new H5N1 virus has already claimed the lives of nearly 58 million chickens, turkeys, and other species.
The disease’s effects are not new to the US; in 2015, the H5N8 strain caused the slaughter of 50 million chickens. Sky said that the new, more contagious virus is primarily hurting wild birds.
Bird Flu in the US
It’s challenging to determine how many wild bird populations are impacted, but raptors, seabirds, and colonial nesting birds are experiencing major disease consequences. The worst-case scenario is that we currently have the biggest quantity of chicken losses due to avian influenza, she continued.
The experts predict that bird flu will probably spread to other people in the US and become endemic, which might have an impact on food security and the economy. According to Reuters, the US government began testing four new bird flu vaccines last week to shield poultry from this widespread outbreak.
- The new H5N1 virus has already claimed the lives of nearly 58 million birds.
- In 2015, the H5N8 strain caused the slaughter of 50 million chickens in the US.
- In the US, the first human case of H5N1 influenza was discovered in April 2022.
- Southeast Asia has seen the majority of human infection cases.
In the US, the first human case of H5N1 influenza was discovered in April 2022. According to the World Health Organisation, a male has also been diagnosed with the virus in Chile.
According to data from the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, Southeast Asia has seen the majority of human infection cases. In 2023, there were only three human infections, two of which occurred in Cambodia and one in China. An 11-year-old girl who was one of the affected individuals in Cambodia passed away from the disease.
There is no need to be overly concerned about human infection with avian influenza, according to Professor James Wood, head of the Department of veterinary medicine at Cambridge University, who spoke about this death to AP.
The effects of avian flu are having a severe impact on farmers and markets. According to the Bureau of Labour Statistics, the average price of a dozen eggs increased by 59% last year, with prices more than tripling in West Virginia and six other upper Midwest states.
The extraordinary disease spread and farmers’ costs rising due to 2022’s high inflation rates were the main causes of the increase, and it doesn’t appear that anything will change anytime soon.