A deadly and an infectious strain of the bird flu has been discovered in a commercial turkey flock in South Carolina.
This is the first case of a the more grievous strain of the disease in America since 2017 and is a concerning development for an industry that was highly impacted by previous outbreaks.
This case was found at an operation in Chesterfield County, South Carolina. The last case was discovered in a Tennessee chicken flock in 2017.
In 2015, about million poultry were killed at operations mainly concentrated in the Upper Midwest after infections spread across the region.
“Yes, it’s concerning when we see cases, but we are prepared to respond very quickly and that was done in this case,” stated Lyndsay Cole, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.
The USDA has been collaborating in recent months with scientists and farmers in North Carolina and South Carolina, where a less severe variant of the bird flu had been discovered.
Low pathogenic strains of the bird flu cause few clinical signs in infected birds. However, two strains of low pathogenic bird flu — the H5 and H7 strains — can transform into more severe variants.
These variants tend to be more fatal to birds and can be easily transmitted to species more susceptible to the outbreak.
“Our scientists at the National Veterinary Services Laboratory had looked at the virus characteristics of the low path virus and they had previously indicated that this was one that was probably likely to mutate so they were watching it very closely,” Cole commented.
A laboratory based in Ames, Iowa, confirmed that the virus which was responsible for the deaths of turkeys was a severe H7N3 strain of avian influenza.
According to a report, the outbreak was discovered on April 6. So far, the virus has killed 1,583 turkeys and the remaining 32,577 birds in the flock were euthanized.
State officials quarantined the farm, then they established movement controls, and implemented enhanced surveillance in the area.
“The flock was quickly depopulated and will not enter the marketplace,” said Joel Brandenberger, president of the National Turkey Federation, an industry trade group. “Thorough disinfecting and cleaning procedures have already been initiated on premises as well as surveillance of commercial flocks in the surrounding area. This occurrence poses no threat to public health. Turkey products remain safe and nutritious.”
Flu cases occur almost annually.
The majority of these cases are not severe, nevertheless, they show that biological threats are real.
A globalized world where unprecedented degrees of movement of people from regions that don’t have the same medical standards as America does present unique challenges for the country.
This illustrates the need for an improved health infrastructure and stronger border controls.
Not taking this into account, will leave America susceptible to future pandemics.
The Attorney General on His Way Out?: Trump Mulls Firing Bill Barr, Advisers Trying to Dissuade Him
Trump is unhappy about more than just Barr’s recent voter fraud comments.
President Donald Trump is considering firing Attorney General William Barr, with the Washington Post reporting Wednesday evening that Trump “remained livid” at him.
On Tuesday Barr said that the Justice Department did not find evidence of “fraud on a scale that could have effected a different outcome in the election.”
An unnamed senior administration official told the Post that although Trump is upset about Barr’s comments, he’s also unhappy with Barr about other matters, such as his previous lack of action on the FBI’s investigation into the Trump campaign and his handling of John Durham.
The president is pressuring Barr to release the “Durham report,” which could implicate officials in using the investigation to target Trump for political reasons. Trump also sees Barr’s secret appointment of Durham to DOJ special counsel as a “stall tactic.”
In the wake of Election Day Attorney General Barr authorized federal prosecutors to “investigate substantial allegations” of voter fraud. But in his comments Tuesday, Barr claimed that “most claims of fraud are very particularized to a particular set of circumstances or actors or conduct.”
“They are not systemic allegations,” said Barr.
Trump may want to fire Barr, but several advisers are trying to persuade him not to, according to the unnamed senior official.
Either way, it’s tough to see how Barr remains attorney general for much longer. If Joe Biden pulls off the steal and gets inaugurated, he will certainly replace Barr with his own AG. And if Trump hangs on for his second and final term, he may very well want to clean house and start afresh.
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