Bird Flu in America
Author: Patsy Hamilton
The only cases of bird flu in America, thus far, have been caused by a different strain of flu virus than the one that is currently sweeping through Asia, Africa and eastern Europe killing thousands of wild and domesticated birds. Wild birds carry a number of these flu viruses, but it is only one strain, H5N1, that has governments throughout the world concerned, both because of the risk to the poultry industry and because H5N1 has caused the deaths of 140 people to date. Countries throughout the world are making efforts to inform the public about safety practices that can lead to bird flu prevention.
Scientists expect to eventually see the H5N1 bird flu in America, but it might not show up. The concern is that migratory birds from Asia could pass the H5N1 strain to migratory birds from the Americas when they both gather in Alaska. So, H5N1 bird flu prevention at this point is focused on Alaska. Scientists believe that if they can identify H5N1 bird flu in America when it first appears, then they can contain it, before it becomes a problem to the poultry industries in the Americas.
The U.S. Geologic Survey and the Department of Agriculture have joined together in a H5N1 bird flu prevention effort that includes testing feces and feather samples from about 150,000 wild birds, mostly waterfowl. Scientists believe that if they find H5N1 bird flu in America, it will most likely show up in the waterfowl first. Unlike domesticated poultry, wild birds can carry the H5N1 bird flu in America and elsewhere in the world without dying. In areas of the world where wild birds mingle freely with domesticated birds they can infect their water supply or pass the virus to them through feces and other secretions, but USDA regulations in America as well as poultry industry standards decrease the likelihood that H5N1 bird flu in America, specifically the United States, will become a problem.
Large poultry farmers in the U.S. are now and always have been concerned about bird flu prevention, no matter what the strain. They take precautions to protect their birds, because their birds are their livelihood. Enclosures are designed to keep their birds in and wild birds out. Workers wear protective suits, boots and head coverings for bird flu prevention and to prevent other diseases from contaminating the poultry.
While there have been some cases of some strains of bird flu in America that have resulted in the destruction of several flocks of chickens in Texas and Virginia, there has only been one case of bird flu in America that affected a human. He was a USDA official and it was a weaker strain of the virus.
While no bird flu prevention efforts can negate the possibility of any bird flu in America, farmers, scientists and government agencies throughout the world are making efforts to identify and contain outbreaks quickly. If you are concerned about bird flu prevention for you and your family, take the same precautions that you would always take to protect yours and your family's health. Cook meat thoroughly. Wash hands, cooking utensils, counter tops or cutting boards that have touched raw meat thoroughly. Eat right, get plenty of rest, take your vitamins and make efforts to maintain a healthy immune system. In this way, when and if cases of H5N1 bird flu in America are reported, you and your family should be safe. For more information about bird flu or about how to protect your immune system, visit www.immune-system-booster-guide.com.
About the author:
Patsy Hamilton has more than twenty years experience as a health care professional and currently writes informational articles for the Immune System Booster Guide. Read more about boosting your immune system at http://www.immune-system-booster-guide.com.
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