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Over 1.35 Million Chickens to be Culled at Ohio Farm Due to Avian Influenza Impact

by Andrew Wright
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Avian Influenza Outbreak

The bird flu outbreak is necessitating the culling of over 1.35 million chickens at an egg farm in Union County, Ohio, as the industry grapples with the ongoing impact of the disease.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has confirmed that to curb the spread of this highly infectious virus, all chickens on the affected farm will be culled. This action follows the detection of avian influenza in the flock earlier this week.

Although the current outbreak, which started in early 2022, has seen a reduction in severity compared to last year, the threat remains significant. To date, around 8.1 million birds have been culled this year as a control measure, with a substantial 5.8 million of these occurring in the current month alone. This includes mass culling at large egg farms, notably 1.2 million birds in Iowa and 940,000 in Minnesota.

Iowa, the leading egg-producing state in the nation, has been the most affected, with approximately 17.3 million birds culled. Ohio, another major egg producer, has witnessed the culling of around 5.1 million birds due to the avian influenza.

RECENT DEVELOPMENTS
The situation with the bird flu outbreak is improving, albeit gradually, which is aiding in the stabilization of egg and poultry prices.

Recent reports indicate significant bird flu cases in states like Minnesota, Maryland, South Dakota, Wisconsin, Georgia, and California. The most notable recent outbreak occurred at a Maryland chicken farm, where about 198,200 birds were culled.

In 2022, the outbreak led to the culling of nearly 58 million birds. The virus, known for its high contagiousness, spreads primarily through wild birds via droppings and nasal discharges.

Farmers are intensifying biosecurity measures to prevent the spread of the virus to their flocks. These measures include mandatory worker sanitation practices, vehicle sanitization, and the use of separate equipment for each barn. However, the virus remains challenging to control, especially along major migratory routes of wild birds.

Health officials assure that avian influenza poses a minimal risk to human health. Human infections are exceedingly rare, and infected poultry products are not distributed in the food supply. Additionally, cooking poultry and eggs to a temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit (73.89 degrees Celsius) effectively eliminates any present viruses.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Avian Influenza Outbreak

What is the reason for culling over 1.35 million chickens in Ohio?

The culling of over 1.35 million chickens in Ohio is due to the presence of avian influenza (bird flu) in the flock. This drastic measure is taken to limit the spread of this highly contagious virus.

How severe is the current bird flu outbreak compared to the previous year?

The current bird flu outbreak is less severe than the previous year, with fewer cases reported among wild birds. However, it still led to the culling of approximately 8.1 million birds in the current year.

Which states have been most affected by the bird flu outbreak?

Iowa, the leading egg-producing state in the U.S., has been the hardest hit, with around 17.3 million birds culled. Ohio, another major egg producer, has seen the culling of about 5.1 million birds due to bird flu.

Are there recent cases of bird flu in other states?

Yes, recent bird flu cases have been confirmed in states like Minnesota, Maryland, South Dakota, Wisconsin, Georgia, and California. Notably, a Maryland chicken farm had to cull approximately 198,200 birds.

What measures are farmers taking to prevent the spread of bird flu?

Farmers are implementing strict biosecurity measures, including worker sanitation practices, vehicle sanitization, and the use of separate equipment for each barn. These measures aim to prevent the virus from infecting poultry flocks.

Is avian influenza a significant health threat to humans?

Avian influenza represents a minimal health threat to humans. Human infections are extremely rare, and infected poultry products are not allowed into the nation’s food supply. Properly cooking poultry and eggs to 165 degrees Fahrenheit (73.89 degrees Celsius) effectively eliminates any viruses.

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