Vietnam's mass bird vaccination to end in November
HANOI – Vietnam, the country worst hit by the deadly bird flu that now threatens Europe, plans to complete vaccinating all its poultry in November
before periods of high demand for chicken early next year, state media reported.
China promotes bird flu vaccine for poultry
Chinese authorities are promoting a poultry vaccine to control the country's expanding bird flu outbreak, but health experts caution costs may be
prohibitive and add a vaccine designed this early cannot fight a constantly mutating virus.
USDA funds avian flu vaccine bank for poultry
An Iowa company will develop an avian influenza vaccine antigen bank that could produce up to 40 million doses of vaccine for poultry, the US
Department of Agriculture's (USDA's) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) announced recently.
Bird Flu FAQ
Are the flu viruses of human and birds the same?
In most cases, the influenza viruses that infect birds do not infect humans and vice versa. However, in Hong Kong in 1997, a unique avian influenza
virus infected both chickens and humans. That was the only time that an avian influenza virus was transmitted directly from birds to humans. That
appeared to be a totally unique occurrence. The World Health Organization continuously monitors human influenza viruses isolated from cases all over
the world. No avian viruses have been found infecting humans since 1997.
What are the risks of getting avian influenza from waterfowl?
Avian influenza virus infections are widespread in wild birds, especially ducks. Migrating waterfowl are a significant source of avian influenza
viruses especially in the major flyways. Turkeys on open ranges in Minnesota, a state in the major flyway for migrating ducks, frequently experience
avian influenza problems. But the prevalence of avian influenza in turkeys has been high in some years and minimal in others. The reason why influenza
viruses come and go is not known. The risk to susceptible birds from contact with waterfowl must be considered very high although it may vary from
year to year for unknown reasons.
Can I prevent infection by vaccinating my flocks?
Vaccines effectively prevent clinical signs of influenza infections in many species including poultry. However, the vaccines are not cross protective
for the 15 virus subtypes that can infect poultry. Since there is no way to predict which type will infect a flock, vaccines are generally not
practical to prevent infections.
What should I do if I suspect avian influenza in my birds?
You should contact your veterinarian if you observe any of the signs of avian influenza, especially if they are accompanied by a drop in feed
consumption and/or a significant drop in egg production. Because the signs of avian influenza are so variable, it is important to get the help of an
expert for diagnosis.
(FAQ source: Carol J. Cardona, Extension Poultry Veterinarian, University of California, Davis)
Looks like saving poultry doesn't equate to saving humans and it would be cost prohibitive to vaccinate the chickens to all the avian flu variants.
Thusly culling is still the most effective means of control.