April 18, 2022
Bird flu confirmed in US states of Pennsylvania and Utah
The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) has confirmed bird flu cases in a commercial chicken flock in Pennsylvania state and another among backyard flock in Utah, as the virus has spread to more than 30 US states, Reuters reported.
In early April, the USDA said it was looking into developing a bird flu vaccine as the country copes with its worst outbreak of the virus since 2015. More than 20 million chicken and turkeys in commercial flocks have been killed due to bird flu since February 2022.
The USDA said bird flu samples were tested and confirmed at the Pennsylvania Veterinary Laboratory and Utah Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory, both part of the National Animal Health Laboratory Network.
Additional surveillance and testing will be conducted by federal and state officials.
The US has shunned vaccines in the past over concerns that importers will impose a ban on US poultry imports if they cannot distinguish infected birds from vaccinated ones.
The US is the second biggest poultry meat exporter in the world. The country exported US$$4.2 billion worth of poultry and poultry product exports globally in 2020.
Bird flu outbreaks have been reported in Asia and Europe, and the USDA is working with other countries in developing a vaccine for the virus.
Key importers such as China has banned poultry shipments from US states with reported outbreaks.