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#65773 - 03/22/06 12:49 PM Re: Bird Flu in USA?

Overall, the posts so far are fairly accurate. Avian flu is not a tremendous threat to the human race. Even though the mortality rate for those who develop symptoms is much higher than other kinds of flu, the infection rate is small because the virus has not developed the ability to jump from human to human.

If it does develop this ability, it is quite likely that a global pandemic would occur because humans have not developed any immunity to this strain. This is what has everybody worked up.

In my work as a Public Health official, we are making preparations for a possible pandemic just as so many other agencies are doing. We are stressing a common sense approach to being safe if a pandemic occurs. A simple surgical mask is enough to stop the spread of the virus, as it is carried in water droplets (coughing or sneezing). Minimizing public contact, use of a mask when in close proximity to others, and above all else REGULAR AND THOROUGH HANDWASHING are the best defenses.

For those of us with poultry flocks, we also need to do our part to limit the spread of the avian flu. The virus is not here in the US yet, but it will be. It is inevitable. The virus is spreading through the wild bird populations as they mingle along the continental migration flyways. Look at a map of these flyways--they all overlap somewhere. The Asian and African/European flyways overlap a great deal, and the virus is spreading westward. The American flyways overlap with the European flyways in the Arctic regions of Eastern Canada and Greenland, so I can only assume that sooner or later, the virus will spread to our continent.

The only way to prevent infection of our flocks would be to use ultra-sanitary practices and prevent any contact with wild birds. We would have to hose off our boots every time we entered to keep from tracking it in, sanitize our coops regularly, and keep all outdoor runs tightly fenced and covered.

More likely, I think the majority of owners will just assume their birds are going to get it, and protect themselves when they handle the birds, and be sure they aren't tracking it all back inside the house when they're done.

We do have at least one big advantage over the Asian populations that have had such a problem with the disease. Most of us don't live in little huts built over the top of our coops, and we don't let the birds run in and out of the living room at will!

Registered Sanitarian and unregistered chicken farmer...

#65774 - 03/22/06 02:21 PM Re: Bird Flu in USA?

Anyone get the Swine Flu vaccine back in the 70s?..Remember SARS? How about Y2K?

I know it can happen, but if it really does, and it is that virulent...I doubt we will have a chance, least I will have a few good eggs for breakfast before I go.

#65775 - 03/22/06 08:04 PM Re: Bird Flu in USA?
David W. Offline

Registered: 03/02/06
Posts: 131
Loc: Missouri
"Well said Spizedtea... shocked


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