Canadian geese are causing alarm in Michigan after testing positive for a lethal strain of bird flu — H5N2 flu strain, setting an all time (bird flu) record high in the history of the United States of America.
The Michigan Department of Natural Resources has traced the bird flu outbreak to three young geese from Sterling Heights, Michigan’s fourth largest city, located about 20 miles or 30 kilometers north of Detroit. Director Keith Creagh disclosed: “Michigan is now working on preventing the bird flu spread to poultry.”
The outbreak has placed a toll on the poultry business not only in Michigan but also elsewhere in the country as more than 46 million chickens and turkeys, for instance have died of the flu or been culled on purpose to prevent the spread of the disease. Iowa, the country’s top egg-producing state, and Minnesota, USA’s top turkey-producing state are among the two most affected states.
Jamie Clover Adams, director of the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development explains: “The detection of the flu in Michigan was ‘not unexpected given avian influenza has been found in a number of our neighboring states and Ontario’.”
The flu could be traced back to wild birds, the perceived carriers of the said virus. The disease may possibly be spread onto poultry farms by people or trucks that “come into contact with contaminated feces.” The virus may also be blown in to barns by wind that carry contaminated dirt or dust.
The State of Michigan is the 21st state to confirm the existence of bird flu since late 2014. It also ranks sixth among the states that have discovered the disease to have been carried by wild or free-ranging birds.