Bird Flu is Spreading Across the US Which is Affecting More Than Just the Birds (Video)

Bird flu has been sweeping across the United States. Over 27 million birds have been affected by the H5N1 virus. 26 states have had flocks affected by the bird flu. Over 115 counties have had reports and there are over 189 outbreaks. Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, Texas, Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming have all had outbreaks reported to the CDC.

This past week the bird flu strain known as H5N1 has been blamed for the death of three bald Eagles in Georgia. Additionally, two cases of H5N1 bird flu were found in birds at United States zoos elsewhere. Since January the USDA has been detecting H5 N one among wild birds, domesticated birds, and commercial flocks. So far, no cases have been reported among human beings in the United States. The Centers for Disease control say that the risk to public health is extremely low. Only one infection has been documented in England which was reported in January and asymptomatic.

“Sporadic human infections with current H5N1 bird flu viruses would not be surprising, especially among people with exposures who may not be taking recommended precautions,” the CDC says on its website.

However the bird flu sweeping across the United states is still affecting people especially consumers. The bird flu outbreak is being blamed for high egg place prices. The average weekly price for eggs has shot up over 44% year over year. Poultry prices have risen 4% since February according to the USDA. The USDA predicts that prices could go up to 12% by the end of 2022.

This is due in part to the fact that farmers are required to destroy their animals in order to prevent further spread. It has spread easily and quickly among the poultry industry especially chickens raised for egg farming. It is spread via secretions and leads to paralysis swelling and diminished egg production. So far 1.3% of all US chickens have been affected by this outbreak and about 6% of turkey flocks.

We are above and beyond the rate of spread we saw in 2015,” Ferguson said. “Last time, 81 percent of the cases were in the fourth and fifth month, as things exploded. What chicken egg prices did last time affected the market for years. We are two months into the outbreak now, and the safety protocols haven’t worked. I don’t want to be a Chicken Little, but I think it’s going to be worse than last time.”

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According to the USDA the price of a dozen eggs in November was about a dollar. A dozen eggs is currently on trajectory to become $3. That price is set to go higher by the end of the year. In addition to higher prices for eggs, consumers can expect higher prices for all baked goods and many processed foods. Everything from store baked cakes to mayonnaise will be going up in price due to the egg prices going up. Restaurants are going to have a harder time keeping up with prices.

Farmers are doing everything in their power to increase biosecurity. They have added protocols such as requiring workers to shower before entering and exiting the facility, antiseptic baths for tires on trucks so that infection can’t be carried from one place to another, and even laser light systems to ward migratory birds away from farms and farm buildings. Emily Metz, president of the American Egg Board, said that about 5 percent of laying hen flocks have been affected so far, but that she is more optimistic about the trajectory of this outbreak. “The bottom line is we started a little bit earlier than we did in 2015 [with biosecurity protocols],” she said.

Notice: This article may contain commentary that reflects the author's opinion.