Science

Bird flu kills 1.8 million chickens in Nebraska

Nebraska agriculture officials say another 1.8 million chickens must be culled after bird flu was found at a farm, in the latest sign that the outbreak is already killing more than 50 million birds nationwide.

The Nebraska Department of Agriculture said Saturday that the state’s 13th case of bird flu was detected at an egg farm in northeastern Nebraska’s Dixon County, about 120 miles north of Omaha, Nebraska.

like on other farms where bird flu occurs got this yearIn order to limit the spread of the disease, all chickens on the Nebraska farm would be culled. The US Department of Agriculture says more than 52.3 million birds — mostly chickens and turkeys on commercial farms — in 46 states have been killed as part of this year’s outbreak.

Nebraska is second only to Iowa at 15.5 million birds, with 6.8 million birds now affected on 13 farms.

In most previous bird flu outbreaks the virus had largely died out during the summer, but this year’s variant found a way to live and marked a resurgence this fall with the death of more than 6 million birds in September. started doing

The virus is primarily spread by wild birds as they migrate across the country. Wild birds can often carry the disease without showing symptoms. The virus is spread through the droppings or nasal secretions of an infected bird, which can contaminate dust and soil.

Commercial farms have taken several steps to prevent the virus from infecting their herds, including requiring workers to change clothes before entering barns and sanitizing trucks entering farms, but controlling the disease be difficult. Zoos have also taken precautions and closed some exhibits for the safety of their birds.

Officials say there is little risk to human health from the virus because human cases are extremely rare and infected birds are not allowed to enter the country’s food supply. Also, properly cooking poultry to 165°F will kill any viruses.

But the bird flu outbreak has contributed to rising chicken and turkey prices, along with rising feed and fuel costs.

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