Experts say the Avian Flu hits birds hard and fast.
“Sometimes the first symptom you see is dead birds,” said Dr. Bill Casto of USDA Veterinary Services.”It’ll sweep through a commercial house, and in two hours they can go from all healthy birds to 75% mortality.”
Dr. Casto says 5.7 million birds died in Iowa alone.
Turkeys haven’t been wiped out completely.
The experts say if you have your heart set on turkey for Thanksgiving, talk to your grocer ahead of time.
“Just check with them,” said Roy McCallister of the USDA’s Homeland Security Unit. “Make sure they have in stock what you want. The quantity is somewhat reduced but it’s not eliminated There’s still a quantity of turkeys on the market.”
But the price will be higher than usual.
“Yes, as an average, the price of turkey, chicken, even eggs has increased due to the lack of production that has been caused by Avian flu,” McCallister said.
They say there’s no cure.
It’s a virus that has to run its course.
People with pet birds at home need to take common sense precautions.
They say, if you find a dead wild bird in your yard, take care not to touch it or carry those germs inside.
“I would dispose of the wild bird’s body properly and carefully,” said Dr. Casto. “You know, pick it up with a plastic bag. Don’t touch it with your hands. Dispose of it. When you go back into your house, before you interact with your pet bird, be sure to wash your hands well.”
Right now they have seen no cases of Avian Flu in Ohio or West Virginia.
But the highest number of turkeys come from the states hit hardest by the virus.
They suspect it is spread by wild migratory birds, so it is possible it will get to the Ohio Valley eventually.
So they advocate common sense and good hygiene practices.
And so far, no humans have ever gotten the Avian Flu.