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Over 4 Million Chickens To Be Slaughtered After Bird Flu Detected At Egg Farm

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Farmers must kill approximately 4.2 million chickens after bird flu was detected at a large egg farm in Sioux County, Iowa.

“More than 4 million chickens in Iowa will have to be killed after a case of the highly pathogenic bird flu was detected at a large egg farm, the state announced Tuesday,” the Associated Press reports.

The news follows reports of the slaughter of about 1.4 million chickens at an egg farm near Minneapolis, Minnesota.

With the culling of millions of chickens, expect egg prices to soon skyrocket.

From the Associated Press:

Overall, 92.34 million birds have been killed since the outbreak began in 2022, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Although bird flu has become somewhat common among poultry, its spread to cattle has added to worries about the disease. In May, a second dairy farmworker was diagnosed with bird flu, and the virus was detected in both beef and milk. It has been confirmed on dairy cattle farms in nine states.

Health and agriculture officials have said the risk to the public remains low. The U.S. Department of Agriculture said the meat from a single sickened dairy cow was not allowed to enter the nation’s food supply and beef remains safe to eat.

Workers exposed to infected animals are at a higher risk. The only three human cases confirmed in the United States included two dairy workers and one man working to slaughter infected birds on a poultry farm.

Nevertheless, the United States and Europe have considered vaccinating poultry and dairy workers that health officials claim are ‘at-risk’ for bird flu.

From the New York Post:

The United States and Europe are taking steps to acquire or manufacture H5N1 bird flu vaccines that could be used to protect at-risk poultry and dairy workers, veterinarians and lab technicians, government officials said, moves influenza experts say could curb the threat of a pandemic.

U.S officials last week said they were moving bulk vaccine from CSL Seqirus (CSL.AX), opens new tab that closely matches the current virus into finished shots that could provide 4.8 million doses of vaccine. European health officials told Reuters they were in talks to acquire CSL’s prepandemic vaccine.

Canadian health officials said they have met with GSK (GSK.L), opens new tab, maker of Canada’s seasonal flu shots, to discuss acquiring and manufacturing a prepandemic bird flu vaccine once its seasonal flu production capacity is freed up.

Other countries, including the UK, are discussing how to proceed on prepandemic vaccines, scientists said.

The actions follow the explosive spread of a new strain of bird flu that emerged in late 2020 and has caused unprecedented numbers of deaths among wild birds and domestic poultry and has begun infecting many mammal species.

Dr. Mary Talley Bowden noted the symptoms for the first two human bird flu cases in the United States amounted to “just pink eye.”

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