Bird flu in US no problem for growers or consumers
The finding of a low-pathogenic, North American subtype of avian
influenza in wild birds in Michigan creates no problems for commercial poultry
operations or consumers, according to the National Chicken
"The finding is definitely not the 'Asian' bird
flu that has caused problems overseas," said Dr Sherrill Davison, Associate
Professor of Avian Medicine and Pathology and Director of the diagnostic
laboratories at the University of Pennsylvania, School of Veterinary Medicine
and a consultant to NCC.
"The most significant fact for the commercial poultry industry is that this
finding shows the monitoring and surveillance program is working, and that if
Asian bird flu were to get here, we would know it."
Mild avian influenza viruses are not uncommon in wild birds. The mute swans
collected in Michigan had no evidence of disease. The highly pathogenic H5N1
strain that has spread in Asia, Europe and Africa has never been detected in
Commercial poultry operations already protect their animals from contact with
wild birds, especially migratory geese and ducks which are the natural reservoir
of avian influenza viruses.
Dr William Raab, Science Advisor to the Secretary of Health and Human
Services, affirmed that the Michigan finding "poses no threat to human health"
and requires no special precautions by consumers.
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