Bird flu has made a comeback, driving up prices for holiday turkeys
An outbreak of highly pathogenic avian influenza has spread through chicken and turkey flocks in 46 states since it was first detected in Indiana on Feb. 8, 2022
The outbreak is also taking a heavy toll in Canada and Europe.
The virus spreads quickly through poultry flocks and almost always causes severe disease or death, so when it is detected, officials quarantine the site and cull all the birds in the infected flock.
This matches the toll from a 2014-2015 bird flu outbreak that previously was considered the most significant animal disease event in U.S. history.
Avian influenza (AI) is a contagious virus that affects all birds. There are two groups of aviain influenza viruses that cause disease in chickens: highly pathogenic AI (HPAI) and low pathogenic AI (LPAI).
The primary natural hosts and reservoir of AI viruses are wild waterfowl, such as ducks and geese. This means that the virus is well adapted to them, and these birds do not typically get sick when they are infected with it.
when domesticated poultry, such as chickens and turkeys, come in direct or indirect contact with feces of infected wild birds, they become infected and start to show symptoms, such as lethargy, coughing and sneezing and sudden death.
The only known human case in the U.S. during the current outbreak was found in a man in Colorado who had contact with infected birds.