As the egg business continues to feel the effects of the avian flu, 1.3 million hens are being killed on one Ohio farm.
Reports show one case of the highly infectious virus was detected in a flock of 1.35 million hens on an Ohio farm this week, prompting the U.S. Department of Agriculture to announce the slaughter of the whole flock to contain the disease.
Since fewer instances of the virus have been detected among wild birds that disseminated it, the epidemic that started in early 2022 has been somewhat milder this year. The illness has been contained thus far, but 8.1 million birds have been slaughtered this year; 5.8 million of them have been killed this month alone due to attacks on several huge egg farms.
An egg farm in Iowa had to slaughter 1.2 million birds, and another in Minnesota had to kill 940,000 hens.
The epidemic in 2022 resulted in the killing of roughly 58 million birds. Bird droppings and nasal secretions are vectors for the extremely infectious virus.
Reports show farmers are trying to prevent the virus’s spread among their flocks. Some measures being taken include cleaning vehicles that come into contact with farms, forcing workers to change clothing and shower before entering barns, and purchasing individual sets of equipment for each barn. However, the virus is difficult to contain, especially in high-traffic areas frequented by wintering birds.
According to officials, there is no serious health risk associated with avian flu. Cases involving humans are very uncommon, and the country’s food supply is protected from any contaminated birds. Poultry and eggs may also be cooked at a virus-killing temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit.
The Biden administration reportedly weighed in on the matter of resuming avian flu vaccine trials on chickens and other livestock in May after a long hiatus.
Following reports of the virus strain transitioning from birds to mammals, the World Health Organization (WHO) has issued a warning, advising nations to be ready for the potential recurrence of the H5N1 pandemic.
The first bird flu vaccines in years are now being prepared for testing by the government. It may take years to get an animal vaccine license.
The kind of injections that will be administered throughout the testing phase was not disclosed by the USDA.