An outbreak of fast-spreading bird flu was reported in Nebraska at a commercial poultry farm, which accommodates around 1.7 million chickens, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture on Tuesday.
Nebraska has been registered the 16th state in the U.S. to have been hit by the dreaded avian flu. Many people in the U.S. suffered from avian influenza, and authorities are trying their best to fight the alarming disease. It is not yet verified as to how the H5N2 virus was transported to the Nebraska farm, which has been put under surveillance. Precautionary measures are taken to keep the unaffected birds protected.
Nebraska farmers and state regulators are highly concerned about the recent outbreak of bird flu, and they feared it might have been transported from Iowa, which infected 24 million birds from 39 farm sites.
“Unfortunately, Nebraska has joined a long list of states currently dealing with highly pathogenic avian influenza,” according to Greg Ibach, the director of the Nebraska Department of Agriculture.
Brian McManus, spokesman for the Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality, informed that the fast-spreading avian flu leads to the closing of farm businesses in Iowa.
“Some people from our agency met with the landfill owner. We had voiced some concerns about the hazards of transporting poultry carcasses right now, because of the risk of spreading the virus,” said McManus, refusing to divulge the name of the farm owner.
“Right now, transporting those birds is an option we discourage.”
The spread of the H5 virus is a matter of great concern for farmers. Investigators are hoping that spring weather might bring down the infection among birds and restrain the spread of the virus.
Experts say the H5 virus has a low risk to human health, thus no humans have been infected so far.
Three types of H5 have been identified in North America. Apart from Nebraska, other states affected by H5N2 virus are Arkansas, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, North Dakota, Oregon, South Dakota, Washington and Wisconsin. The virus has also been recognized on British Columbia and Ontario, Canada farms.