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New Strand of Bird Flu Causes Fears of Future Egg Crisis

As of yet, 50 million birds in 46 states have been killed because of the increasing bird influenza spreading rapidly in bird farms. The origins that have linked to such a catastrophic difference was discovered in northeast Nebraska, and has continued to spread beyond since then.

As the numbers steadily rise, it is evident that this disease is highly contagious and pathogenic to other birds, garnering it the nickname, “Avian Influenza.” As a result of this development, farmers around the world have had no choice but to prematurely slaughter a collective amount of 1.8 million chickens in the state. Otherwise, they’d be risking the disease from harming harming not only more birds, but harm the general population who would eat those birds.

The influenza virus has been observed in waterfowl, poultry, and raptors but even in knowing the most prone birds, it is near impossible to completely control or limit the spread. Adding on to this difficulty, it is hard to know if a being even has the flu because symptoms are exceptionably hard to identify because it isn’t uncommon to be asymptomatic.

Research so far indicates that it is harmless to humans unless they come into direct contact with a contaminated bird. Fortunately, Florida is one of the states that has not been severely affected by it, along with South Dakota, North Carolina, Nebraska, and Arkansas. 

“There are different strains of influenza, some of which infect humans and others which infect animals,” explained Dr. John Brownstein, “We’ve been monitoring it for two decades now, and it’s a real problem, not only for wildlife, but it can have dramatic effects on domestic stock.” 

What is most worrying about this avian virus is how much worse it is from the outbreak of its 2015 variant, which saw 50.5 million birds in 21 states dead, because of the lack of birds this will cost the price of eggs to go up and in larger demand. 

This virus has presented itself in a year where the United States has experienced shortages with many essential items such as baby products and formula. Those situations expanded to such a drastic measure that people had to drive hours to be able to get baby formula. If this vicious strand of bird flu continues to spread at its current rate, the struggle of many households will parallel those from last year.

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