Highly contagious bird flu in New York’s backyard

Highly contagious bird flu in New York's backyard

A dangerous form of bird flu has been detected in a private flock of birds in a Long Island home, prompting the state to launch an urgent, federal response to contain the infectious disease.

The USDA and USDA confirmed a positive test for highly pathogenic bird flu Saturday in what they described as a “small, non-commercial backyard flock” of eight non-poultry birds in Suffolk County.

Government officials have quarantined the damaged buildings and birds on the property will be evacuated to prevent the spread of disease. The USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service said in a statement that flock birds will not enter the food system.

State and federal authorities have also said they will launch a major biosecurity response, with testing and monitoring in surrounding areas.

The disease is described as highly contagious and often fatal to chickens. Human infections with avian influenza are rare and usually involve prolonged exposure to sick or dead birds. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, it is often fatal when it occurs.

It was not immediately clear from the federal statement which exact strain of bird flu had been identified in the birds of Suffolk County, though the USDA said this week that the Eurasian H5 strain was recently discovered in the United States, and the CDC said they did. . To be specifically H5N1.

So far this year, bird flu has been reported in commercial flocks in Indiana and Kentucky and in a backyard flock in Virginia. It has also been found in wild birds in at least nine states.

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There have been no human cases so far, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said this week that it views the recent outbreak as a low risk to the general public.

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