Wild duck is responsible for avian flu in Alaska
(Mirror Daily, United States) Despite the epidemic that happened years ago, avian flue does not belong in the past. A new case of the influenza was detected with a wild duck in Alaska, and specialists inform that it is a severe form of the virus. Wild birds can be carriers of the disease and spread it among local birds.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture made the announcement of the wild duck infected with avian flu Friday, on August 26. It was only last year when the disease affected over 50 million birds in the United States. In 2015, it was the wild birds such as ducks and geese the ones that spread the virus among hens and turkeys at local farms, causing the death of thousands of birds.
The previous cases of avian flu also started in Alaska. Researchers believe a form from other continents mixed with an already existing virus, thus creating a lethal version of the avian flu.
Avian influenza is scientifically known as H5N2, and it is concerned with influenza A virus. There are similar types of influenza for pigs, dogs, and humans. It spreads rapidly from an infected individual to the healthy one. Nevertheless, there have never been reported cases of avian flu in humans. Hence the risk of such contamination is extremely low.
Avian flu is always bad news for farmers and poultry producers alike. If poultry (such as chickens, ducks and turkeys) are infected, then the whole population must be isolated and, eventually, must be euthanized. These measures must be applied in order to prevent the disease from spreading further. There are many negative effects of the virus, such as the death of the birds and the collapse of the industry.
Back in 2015, buyers and consumers of chicken and poultry related products (such as eggs) also felt the damages of the flu, because prices for these products were much higher than before. Providers were also forced to be extremely cautious about their products and to assure buyers they were safe.
There are also financial losses from the government, which must pay for treatment and other damages. In 2015, the avian flu required from the United States’ government more than $330 million.
Officials say that further investigation will be carried out in Alaska, where the wild duck was identified as a carrier of the bird flu.
Image courtesy of: Wikipedia