Texas Poultry Stock probably at Increased Risk for Bird Flu
Texas Poultry Stock probably at Increased Risk for Bird Flu

Multiple cases of the infection along a common migratory pathway passing through the United States' center has posed an increased risk for bird flu to Texas poultry probably.

On Tuesday, the US Department of Agriculture confirmed the presence of a bird flu strain in poultry flock in Judith Basin County, Mont., and also in a commercial turkey flock in Beadle County, S. D. In March, the same strain was found in chicken and duck flock in Leavenworth, Kan.

These states are present along the Central Flyway, a way extending from Montana to Texas where wild birds migrate in each spring. It is said that these birds act as source of bird flu virus. Hon Ip, a U. S. Geological Survey virologist, was of the view that there is not much risk for Texas.

"There have not been a large number of wild birds that tested positive in the Central Flyway, but that may just represent a low number of birds tested rather than the absence of the virus", affirmed Hon Ip.

Experts affirmed that influenza strains pass in many bird and animal species. They can cross from one species to another and in this process their genetic material also gets swapped. It results into development of new strains with unpredictable results for birds, other animals and humans.

The latest strain is H5N2 that is affecting many species and is erupting in different locations. Experts said that it seems that the strain has well adapted for transmission in wild and domestic birds. The strains in the latest outbreak involve a mix of genetic material from highly pathogenic Eurasian strain of the virus and a less pathogenic North American strain.

"H5N2 along with H5N8 and H5N1 viruses do pose a risk to poultry and the poultry industry in all states now", said Dr. Nancy Cox, an influenza expert recently retired from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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