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Bird Flu Outbreak in the U.S. (Spring 2022)

The U.S. had its first case of bird flu in January when a wild South Carolina duck tested positive for the H5N1 strain of the virus. The same strain caused a wave of bird flu outbreaks in Europe and Asia beginning in fall of 2021. Bird flu epidemics usually start in the fall when migratory birds move to warmer weather.

Bird flu cases are continuing to spread throughout the U.S. since January. As of mid-March, the U.S. has euthanized 6 million chickens and turkeys to reduce the spread of the disease. This makes it the worst bird flu outbreak since 2015 when 50 million birds died. Experts predict this epidemic will likely be worse.

Wild birds spread the disease through contact, which can apply to domestic birds like poultry and be fatal to them. Cases have arisen for domestic birds and farms in Delaware, Florida, North Carolina, New Hampshire, Kentucky, Virginia, Maine, and New York.

Bird cleanup is essential in situations like these, from bird dropping removal to sanitizing areas from possible bird flu infections. If you need help cleaning up your farm or business, contact a bird control company like AviAway for assistance performing these essential services.

Bird flu is low-risk for humans and is rarely passed on to them except for people in close contact with birds. If it is passed on to humans, the symptoms are severe, and the death rate can be as high as 60%.

If humans get the bird flu, it can be passed on to other humans, but this is rare. It does not spread among human communities, although it infects many birds. The U.S. government is currently stockpiling the H5N1 vaccine in preparation for any outbreaks.

The CDC recommends a few guidelines for dealing safely with a bird flu outbreak:

  • Avoid any contact with wild birds

  • Avoid any contact with domestic birds that look dead or diseased

  • Avoid all surfaces with bird feces

  • Handle raw poultry safely

  • Cook raw poultry thoroughly before eating

  • Get tested if you come into contact with diseased birds

Bird flu can spread from bird saliva, nasal secretions, and feces. Human infections can occur from breathing in these fumes or prolonged contact with infected birds, such as on a farm or in a marketplace with live birds (as cases have arisen in Asia). It is doubtful that you will contract bird flu from thoroughly cooked chicken or eggs.

The U.S. CDC says the recent bird flu outbreaks do not pose an immediate public health concern. No human cases of the H5N1 bird flu strain have been detected in the U.S. since mid-March 2022, though some people have been infected in Europe and Asia, with a worldwide death toll of around 800 people.

You can report sick birds or unusual bird deaths to state or federal officials through your veterinarian or the Agriculture Department at 1-866-536-7593.

If you have a bird problem, we can help. AviAway professionally installs bird control solutions for all bird species. We have 30+ years of experience in bird control and have performed work for companies like Amazon, Rite Aid, and the U.S. Postal Service. Click here or call 844-247-3373 to request a free bird control quote.


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