Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Avian Influenza

The World Health Organization reports that a six-year-old girl has died from Avian Influenza in Cambodia. While this is tragic, it's worth remembering that the Highly Pathogenic form, H5N1, does not exist on North America or South America. Although the virus that causes Avian Influenza can theoretically be carried by migratory waterfowl, years of sampling in Alaska have discovered no infected birds. None. Not one.

Even the US Geological Survey's Alaska Science Center emphasizes that there are no cases and no evidence that wild birds can transmit HPAI to people or to backyard chickens:

"Researchers have no evidence that the Asian strains of HPAI H5N1 are present in wild birds or poultry in the North American continent. "

Backyard flocks present no documented hazard to anyone. Don't let anyone tell you different.

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