Birds flu has struck again the Midwest way before then it was expected. A highly infectious disease has been detected in two commercial turkey flocks on the western side of Minnesota and a hobby flock in Indiana, officials reported on Wednesday.
The disease was discovered after a farm in Meeker County reported an increase in mortality over the weekend, according to the Minnesota Board of Animal Health. To stop the disease spreading from more, the flock was left to die. A second flock in the county tested positive Tuesday evening, according to the board.
They were the first avian influenza detections in Minnesota since May 31, when a private flock in Becker County got infected. Indiana’s case was the state’s first since a backyard flock tested positive on June 8, which was the last discovery in the Midwest until this week.
Other detections in the Western States
However, there have been other detections in western states in July and August, including California, where a half-dozen commercial farms have had to slaughter over 425,000 hens and turkeys since last week. There have also been cases in Washington, Oregon, and Utah, as well as a handful in the eastern states.
Dr. Shauna Voss, who’s a senior veterinarian on the board, said in a statement that since the timing of the detection of the disease has occurred a bit earlier than before, they are preparing themselves for an avian influenza disease as well that has also occurred before in the earlier spring this year.
A small hobby flock of chickens, ducks, and geese in northern Indiana’s Elkhart County tested presumptively positive on Tuesday, according to the Indiana State Board of Animal Health, though formal confirmation from a federal lab was waiting.
According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, a figure has been calculated that since February, 414 flocks in 39 states have been infected, costing producers approximately 40 million animals, principally commercial turkeys, and chickens. This year, the illness has infected 81 Minnesota flocks, necessitating the euthanasia of approximately 2.7 million birds.
Rise in the prices of poultry goods due to the outbreak
The epidemic this year caused an increase in egg and meat costs while also killing an alarming number of bald eagles and other wild animals. Some zoos were also affected. Although it looked to be decreasing in June, experts cautioned that another wave might occur this fall which could be an alarming situation.
Carriers of the disease according to the experts
Some experts believe that migrating birds are the frequent carriers of the illness. Humans are only affected on rare occasions, such as agricultural workers, and the USDA keeps poultry from sick flocks out of the food chain. In 2015, a widespread outbreak killed 50 million birds in 15 states, costing the federal government about $1 billion. Some also say that if this situation is not controlled in time, the results after that would be even more devastating than they are right now.