Health officials preparing American poultry for flu virus
| 03.06.2006 | 09:16:11 | Views: 2925 | ID:
March 6 '06: Health officials in the US are increasing preventative measures to help prepare the poultry industry for a possible bird flu outbreak in American poultry, Knight Ridder news services reported Monday.
So far the virus has spread through commercial poultry flocks in Asia, Africa and Europe and officials say it is only a matter of time before the disease infects birds in the US. Knight Ridder reported, "as the deadly H5N1 strain moves through Europe and parts of the Middle East and Africa, US and state agriculture officials are taking no chances. They've increase avian flu testing at live-bird markets in 21 states, including Pennsylvania, New York, California, Texas and Florida."Measures being taken include testing of all commercial chicken flocks before the birds are processed for food and increased surveillance. Ron DeHaven, the head of the US Department of Agriculture's Animal and Plant Health inspection service told Knight Ridder, "We hope that it doesn't come here. But our planning is on the assumption that it will arrive here. And we need to be prepared." Meanwhile, the Associated Press reported more cats in Europe testing positive for the flu virus. Austrian officials announced that three cats were found to have the virus. Also, "German authorities last month confirmed that a cat on the Baltic Sea island of Ruegen had succumbed to the deadly virus, which it is believed to have caught by eating an infected bird." And the BBC reported Polish officials imposing "emergency measures" near an area in the country's northern region to stop the spread of the virus in wild birds.
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