Non H5N1 Avian
Influenza Hits US
From Patricia Doyle, PhD

Hello, Jeff - Normally, I would not send this article for posting due to the paranoia that is surrounding H5N1 bird flu. I suspect that the New York mainstream media will "latch onto" this story and attempt to scare people into thinking the Asian strain is here in the US, poised to hit.
The bird flu mentioned below is NOT the virulent strain and is of little risk of human infection. Connecticut and the New York area has had problem with Avian Influenza outbreaks in the past.
The article shows how easily avian influenza spread, i.e. even on bird crates or on a person's shoes and also that the Delaware grower did not head the warnings that Avian Influenza could occur.
Patricia Doyle
Date: 6 Feb 2004 ProMED-mail Source: Canada [edited]
Bird flu discovered at U.S. farm that ships chickens to New York City
DOVER, Del. (AP) - Delaware state officials ordered the destruction of some 12,000 chickens Friday on a farm that ships the birds to New York City after confirming the flock has been infected by avian influenza.
"We don't want this to spread," Delaware Agriculture Secretary Michael Scuse said at a hastily arranged news conference Friday evening.
"We're trying to protect an industry that is very important."
Scuse would not disclose the location of the infected chicken houses or the identity of the grower, saying only it is an independent operation in southern Kent County that sold to the live bird market in New York.
"We don't want a lot of traffic around this location," he said.
Scuse said the strain of avian influenza is different from the one that has spread to the human population in Asia and there is no threat to human health.
Nevertheless, the strain, known as H7, is one of the most virulent types of the virus and has the potential to cause severe economic damage if it spreads to the commercial broiler industry, a linchpin of the region's agricultural economy.
"We're trying to nip this thing in the bud," said William Satterfield, executive director of Delmarva Poultry Industry Inc., an industry trade group.
Avian influenza is an airborne respiratory virus that spreads easily among animals through nasal and eye secretions, as well as manure.
Satterfield advised commercial poultry growers in the region not to allow visitors on their farms and chicken houses.
"We just need the growers to be a bit more vigilant," he said.
"If this gets into the commercial chicken industry, we could have a severe situation."
The infected flock will be destroyed with carbon monoxide and composted inside the two chicken houses were they have been raised. Testing will begin Saturday morning of flocks on 12 commercial farms within a three-kilometre radius, Scuse said.
Results of the testing should be known within hours, said state veterinarian Wesley Towers.
State officials learned of the problem Thursday after the grower contacted a representative of Elanco Animal Health, in Salisbury, Md. Elanco veterinarian Robert Evans and Mariano Salem of the University of Delaware's poultry diagnostic lab visited the farm Thursday afternoon.
"We found a lot of morbidity," said Salem, adding two samples tested positive for avian influenza Thursday afternoon.
Further testing Friday was followed by a meeting of the DPI Emergency Poultry Disease Task Force.
"Less than 24 hours after we had run the samples, a lot of decisions were made," Salem said.
Towers said the New York live bird market has had a problem with avian influenza for some time. Delaware agriculture officials speculate the virus was carried to Delaware on unclean bird crates or perhaps chicken manure on a person's shoes.
Towers said he visited the New York market with the Delaware grower last fall to advise him about the precautions he needed to take.
"We tried to tell him that there was a problem up there and that he ought to be careful," he said.
"We tried to warn him." -- ProMED-mail
[It should be noted that this is not H5N1, the strain of avian influenza now sweeping through Asia, and although devastating to poultry is very little of a potential threat to humans. Mod.- DK]
Patricia A. Doyle, PhD Please visit my "Emerging Diseases" message board at: Zhan le Devlesa tai sastimasa Go with God and in Good Health



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