COLUMBIA, Jan 15 (AP): A duck killed by a hunter in South Carolina had a contagious and dangerous bird flu that has not been detected in the wild in the United States for five years, officials said.
The flu poses a low risk to humans but can spread quickly to chicken coops and other poultry farms.
Eurasian H5 avian flu was first discovered by scientists at Clemson University and confirmed by federal testing, the school said in a news release.
The US Department of Agriculture alerted global health authorities. Disseminated Eurasian H5 infections have been detected from Portugal to Bulgaria in 2022, and two cases were reported in eastern Canada in December, officials said.
Anyone who has poultry, including backyard farms, needs to review their practices to protect birds from disease, said state veterinarian Michael J. Neault, who directs Clemson University’s Livestock Poultry Health Program.
These practices include thorough hand washing before and after handling wild and domestic birds, and wearing gloves and other protective equipment when handling live birds.
Farmers should also keep their birds away from areas where geese and ducks roam, clean their cages and pens regularly, and buy new birds from reputable sources and keep them away from the rest of the flock for 30 days, the university said.
“To date we have no evidence that (flu) has jumped from wild migratory birds to poultry and we would very much like it to continue,” Neault said in a statement. (AP) IJT
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