H5N2 Expected Death Toll Almost 7 Million Birds Since March


by Christopher Doering

WASHINGTON – Federal officials are banking on higher temperatures to help knock down avian influenza spreading through U.S. poultry operations, including two in Iowa — even as they work to develop vaccines to counter the deadly virus.

The spread of the H5N2 virus has raised the expected death toll to almost 7 million birds since March — half of them at Sunrise Farms in Harris — and officials are concerned that even if the virus wanes this summer it could flare up again when the weather cools.

Those concerns have prompted the Agriculture Department to work on a vaccine to counter the deadly strain. And although there is no evidence the public is at risk of contracting the virus, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is considering whether a vaccine could be needed for humans.

“When warm weather comes in consistently across the country I think we will stop seeing new cases, but again we can't predict what may or may not happen; we need to be prepared for the fall,” John Clifford, the Agriculture Department's chief veterinary officer, told reporters Wednesday.

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Source:  The Des Moines Register


Image source: wikipedia

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