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US - Deadly Bird Flu Flying South for Winter

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  • US - Deadly Bird Flu Flying South for Winter

    Deadly Bird Flu Flying South for Winter

    Record 49 Million Poultry Perished in Spring Prompting Warnings from Sanderson Farms and National Poultry Experts

    JACKSON, Miss., Oct. 21, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ --
    ...
    Experts around the country are paying particularly close attention to migrating waterfowl as the fall/winter migration season begins.

    "This particular strain of Avian Flu affects all bird species who contract the virus and most birds that get it will get sick and die. However, waterfowl like geese and ducks don't necessarily get sick and can carry the virus for longer periods of time and from place to place as they migrate," said Dr. Kenneth Angel with USDA's veterinary services for Louisiana and Mississippi.

    "Other birds can get the virus, but they don't spread the virus long distances because they get too sick to fly, while some are able to spread the virus on their feet or feathers without actually becoming sick.

    We know that waterfowl are the main carriers of the virus so that is where we are concentrating our efforts. We also know the virus does not survive well in warm temperatures, which may account for why we didn't see large outbreaks during the spring months in the southern portion of the U.S. However, now that the temperatures are dropping and the birds are beginning to leave their nesting grounds in the North and Midwest, we see the greatest potential for impact in the November/December timeframe."

    Houston Havens, Mississippi Department of Wildlife Fisheries and Parks Waterfowl Program Leader, said, "The South is just starting to see some of the early migrants, the Blue Winged Teal, arriving now in fairly decent numbers. However, the peak of migration won't be until mid January."

    Havens went on to say, "Migration varies by species and other variables. Cold weather will play a large role in the intensity of migration. Birds can tolerate the cold but long periods of extended cold weather and snow that covers food and other resources will cue up birds to head south to overwinter."
    ...

    http://www.prnewswire.com/news-relea...300163826.html
    "Safety and security don't just happen, they are the result of collective consensus and public investment. We owe our children, the most vulnerable citizens in our society, a life free of violence and fear."
    -Nelson Mandela

  • #2
    The title of the press release is assuming something unproven at this point, but the preparation should be there all the time.

    This surprised me:

    "Previously we thought the virus was primarily spread by coming up the driveway, transmitted from farm-to-farm by service vehicles and on equipment. Now we realize it's spread as waterfowl fly overhead, meaning it can easily be picked up by simply walking in your yard through duck droppings," said Stayer. "This means we have had to change our entire mindset from just farm-by-farm, to one that is house-by-house. All of which means much tighter security."
    I was just reading the USDA APHIS report below and I think it is saying that farm to farm traffic is a significant virus spreader.

    https://www.aphis.usda.gov/animal_he...-Sept-2015.pdf
    Epidemiologic and Other Analyses of
    HPAI-Affected Poultry Flocks:
    September 9, 2015 Report
    ...
    Farm-Level Analysis
    Five variables were statistically significant in the final multivariable model. Being located in an
    existing control zone was highly associated with farm status (Table 15). Half of case farms were
    located in an existing control zone compared to only 10% of control farms (OR=28.8, p=0.002).
    Rendering dead birds was a risk factor; 39% of case farms (compared to 13% of control farms)
    reported that the renderer came onto the farm. Additionally, 29% of case farms (and only 3% of
    control farms) reported that rendering trucks came near the barns (OR=21.4, p<.001).
    Although a similar percentage of case and control farms reported that garbage trucks came to
    the farm, 61% of case farms (compared to 23% of control farms) reported that the garbage
    trucks came near the barns (OR=14.0, p<.001).
    Movement control of humans and domestic birds and their products seems to be what Canada found successful in quenching their outbreak. Biosecurity is very important as far as keeping as much disease as possible out of barns, but I don't see how that will ever be foolproof.
    “‘i love myself.’ the quietest. simplest. most powerful. revolution ever.” ---- nayyirah waheed

    Avatar: Franz Marc, Liegender Hund im Schnee 1911 (My posts are not intended as advice or professional assessments of any kind.)

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    • #3
      I think there are a multitude of ways that bird flu becomes prevalent in an ecosystem. I do not think we should rule anything out.
      "May the long time sun
      Shine upon you,
      All love surround you,
      And the pure light within you
      Guide your way on."

      "Where your talents and the needs of the world cross, lies your calling."
      Aristotle

      In a gentle way, you can shake the world.
      Mohandas Gandhi

      Be the light that is within.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by sharon sanders View Post
        I think there are a multitude of ways that bird flu becomes prevalent in an ecosystem. I do not think we should rule anything out.
        Yes, I agree. That is why I was concerned about the way that press release quote was worded. I feared farm-to-farm movement control was going to be replaced to some extent by biosecurity upgrades, but I don't think that is the case here since Stayer is quoted earlier in the article as saying that movement control is still in the response plan for Sanderson Farms. I think this is an expansion plan.

        This article supports that.

        http://www.wattagnet.com/articles/24...anderson-farms
        'Extraordinary' avian flu precautions at Sanderson Farms Written October 19, 2015
        By Roy Graber

        ....
        According to Sanderson, company officials have been communicating with its growers every month for the past year, and everyone at those farms has an understanding that the main way to protect the farms against avian influenza is to limit traffic on the farms and to prevent cross-contamination from a maintenance worker, truck or other piece of equipment that may have been an another farm previously.
        But even common, everyday things can put a farm at risk, he said.
        Its so very simple to prevent, but it is so very simple to occur, said Sanderson. The farmer can go to the grocery store in his boots and go through the grocery store or service station and cross paths with some hunters who have been out hunting geese out in the field and go back to his farm and not go through his footbath and boom. Its a very virulent disease, and that farm is gone....
        That's a transmission possibility I wondered about myself earlier this year. Sanderson is also grappling with how to handle geese on his own farm. He was trying to test them but more and more geese are arriving. One farmer in the northeast I read about over the summer said he was putting in a crop that would actually attract geese - but that crop would be planted as far from his poultry operation as possible. He thought it would be easier to do that than to try to chase geese away from the barn area.
        “‘i love myself.’ the quietest. simplest. most powerful. revolution ever.” ---- nayyirah waheed

        Avatar: Franz Marc, Liegender Hund im Schnee 1911 (My posts are not intended as advice or professional assessments of any kind.)

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