In the previous years, every time that the bird flu did strike, it caused a massive panic and took a huge toll on the people. Death seemed to be in the air as clinicians struggled to contain the massive outbreak.
The U.S government is mighty concerned about bird flu this year and in fact, officials are going all out to prevent it from becoming a massive problem. Since the Ebola scare, not forgetting the previous bird flu epidemics, along with all the infectious out-breaks of listeriosis and influenza on the rise, the health department is set on avoiding any major hassles and is striving to ‘nip the bud’ to keep their troubles to minimum.
This week, the owner of a local backyard poultry, near Benton City, contacted the State Agriculture Department after losing almost 50 birds. Investigation of the deaths, led the officials to the extremely pathogenic H5 bird flu virus which is potentially lethal to the infected birds. Although the virus does not cause any infections in the humans, the officials are not taking any risks, in case a deadly strain turns out to be infectious to humans.
And now the State Agriculture Department will work with US Department of Agriculture (USDA) to further investigate the risks and eliminate the potential threat. State veterinarian Dr. Joe Baker said, “We have not diagnosed the virus anywhere else in our domestic poultry population, but the presence of the virus in migratory waterfowl is a risk to backyard poultry.”
The virus has been found in wild birds and an infection can be suspected to have stemmed from a contact of the domestic birds with the wild ones. According to the officials, the same strain was found in a gyrfalcon, captured in Washington, while a wild duck had been infected with another strain of the same virus. Globally, cases of both viruses have been reported.
The officials, also confirm that the same strain was present in poultry products and had been located to a back yard poultry in the southern part of Winston. Other than that, the meat and eggs, available in market, so far do not contain the viruses.