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Deja Flu: H5 Bird Flu in Washington

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posted on Dec, 17 2014 @ 10:17 AM
Just to be clear: H5N8 bird flu is not known to infect humans, while H5N2 only causes subclinical infections in humans with no symptoms. So there is no immediate threat to people. True, these viruses might spread in some mammals: H5N8 infected a dog in South Korea and H5N2 can pass serially in mice. But most importantly, both these viruses are highly pathogenic in domestic chickens and turkeys - so they already threaten our food security, and pose a huge economic threat worldwide.

H5N8 first appeared in Ireland in 1983; H5N2 in Mexico in 1994. By 2014, both H5N2 and H5N8 had been found pretty much around the world: in Asia, Africa, Europe, North America, South and Central America, Haiti, the Dominican Republic, the Pacific Islands and Australia. Several nations in Europe were just hit with H5N8 in poultry farms, and Canada is in the middle of at least 10 outbreaks.

Wild Duck, Captive Falcon Infected with Bird Flu in Washington

….The H5N2 virus, which has struck 10 B.C. poultry farms, was found in a northern pintail duck. A separate highly contagious avian influenza strain, H5N8, was found in a gryfalcon, which died after eating a hunter-killed wild duck.

Both types are equally dangerous, State Veterinarian Joe Baker said. ….

….Baker said he believes this was the first time a highly pathogenic strain of avian influenza has been found in Washington state.

….Humans are rarely affected by avian influenza and there has never been a reported instance of a person becoming ill from an infected bird in the United States, although some cases have occurred in foreign countries where people have come in close contact with infected birds, according to WSDA.

The virus can be spread by direct contact with infected birds, contaminated equipment and through airborne transmission over short distances. The virus is found in feces, saliva and respiratory secretions of birds carrying the disease.

There is some controversy concerning how these viruses manage to travel around the globe, but it's clear that migratory birds, international trade and world travel all play a role.

Equally important is flu viruses' tendency to mutate. Evidence shows that while viruses do indeed mutate naturally in the wild, the trend is accelerated by environmental change, sometimes dramatically. In addition, factory farming also promotes and accelerates viral and microbial mutation. So the standard command to "Lock up the virgins and kill the marauders!" really doesn't work. Animal quarantine aka factory farming just triggers and galvanizes mutation, and makes the situation worse.

….if the past couple of years has taught us anything, it is that the number of new avian flu subtypes continues to rise, and that the challenges of keeping them at bay are only going to increase with time.

At present, vaccines are the only weapon in the world's arsenal against viral threats. Anti-virals are unreliable, and viruses develop resistance quickly just as bacteria do. One big problem with vaccine development is rapid muation - by the time a vaccine is ready for mass production, the virus has mutated again and the vaccine won't work. It also seems that vaccinations in poultry farms has fueled flu viruses' mutation and evolution.

Another biological conundrum. Your thoughts?

edit on 17/12/14 by soficrow because: (no reason given)

edit on 17/12/14 by soficrow because: reorg

posted on Dec, 17 2014 @ 10:22 AM
Yup, Canada as well...

VANCOUVER -- The Fraser Valley bird flu outbreak has spread to Langley, B.C., affecting another 53,000 birds. The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) has confirmed the presence of avian influenza on an egg-laying farm in Langley, bringing the total number of infected birds to nearly 234,000.


posted on Dec, 17 2014 @ 10:23 AM
a reply to: soficrow

Spreading through the wild bird populations is why they want you to call animal control whenever you come across a dead bird. They keep records of populations and health issues that may arise (like bird fu and whatever).

The sooner you call, the fresher the carcass, the easier it is to identify what they died of.

posted on Dec, 17 2014 @ 10:31 AM
This is good to know. Even though it is not a threat presently, it is good to be aware that it is in this country.

posted on Dec, 17 2014 @ 11:13 AM
a reply to: rickymouse

Thanks rickymouse.
....But just so you know - it IS a threat. To our food safety and supply, and to our economy (not just the world's). These are not small threats. Starvation can kill as surely as disease.

posted on Dec, 17 2014 @ 11:45 AM
a reply to: soficrow

Yes, it is a major threat to the chickens and their egg production. That is a big part of our food supply and also a big part of our economy.

posted on Dec, 17 2014 @ 11:51 AM
a reply to: rickymouse

Don't forget those all-important holiday turkeys. But note:

The virus is easily destroyed by cooking so there is no reason to worry. Poultry and eggs can be safely eaten as long as they are handled hygienically and cooked thoroughly.

posted on Dec, 17 2014 @ 01:31 PM
a reply to: soficrow

I've got a problem with latex gloves. Can I use some good leather choppers to crack those eggs?

posted on Dec, 17 2014 @ 01:55 PM
a reply to: rickymouse

lol. Don't worry - just wash your hands!

[I don't even use latex gloves to cut up my chicken. Then I suck on my fingers and slap myself upside the head. duh.]

posted on Dec, 17 2014 @ 02:18 PM
Germany as well

(Reuters) - German authorities have confirmed a case of the H5N8 strain of bird flu at a Turkey farm in the north western state of Lower Saxony, a spokesman for the state's agriculture ministry said on Tuesday.

The strain is highly contagious among birds but has never been detected in humans.

The first H5N8 case in Germany was confirmed on Nov. 4 on a poultry farm in the eastern state of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern. A second was found in a wild bird on Nov. 22.

posted on Dec, 17 2014 @ 08:31 PM
I have three turkeys, about six chickens , One ham, ten pounds of assorted pork, twelve pounds of assorted fish, and half a cow in my freezers. That should last me through the winter anyway. I should increase the chickens since there could be a shortage and price jump. Next time they go on sale, I should pick up another six chickens. I have to make medicinal chicken soup when my daughters or their kids get sick. That happens quite often for some reason. I always have the ingredients in stock for soups.

I have to start staying on topic better.

OOPS, two hams and I forgot the five packages of bacon.
edit on 17-12-2014 by rickymouse because: (no reason given)

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