The bird flu outbreak has gone from bad to worse
Emmanuel Emmanuel Blake, 37, dies after being runover at Taylor’s Farm in South Florida, killing two birds in a road trip
More than 50 birds have been lost at Taylor’s family farm in South Florida in just three days. There were two birds that survived.
“I am still trying to wrap my head around it,” Blake wrote. “We thought we were out of the woods, when Emmanuel unexpectedly went down this past Wednesday.”
Blake is looking for an avian specialist who can treat Emmanuel, who has suffered nerve damage in his right leg and foot, according to the Twitter thread. Blake posted a photo to her social media followers of her helpingEmmanuel get physical therapy using a homemade sling.
Scientists believe wild migratory birds brought the virus to North America at the beginning of the year and have spread the virus to more than 40 wild bird species. The viruses can be carried long distances by some waterfowl with it, even though chickens and turkeys quickly die.
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Blake announced on Monday she is not looking to do any interviews with news outlets, tweeting, “As much as I appreciate news stations reporting and elevating Emmanuel’s story, the last thing on my mind right now is doing interviews. My best friend is fighting for his life and I’m trying to do my best not to fall into a million pieces.
If the H52N1 strain of flu can spread from one mammal to another, that is the strongest evidence so far.
“Because humans have no prior immunity to these viruses typically, if they were to be infected and spread the virus to other humans, then we could have another pandemic virus on our hands,” Todd Davis, an expert on animal-to-human diseases at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), told NPR earlier this year.
The United Kingdom’s bird flu is the largest ever outbreak and it was declared an Aviation Influenza Prevention Zone on Monday. Bird keepers in Great Britain will have to keep free-ranging birds within fenced areas and keep domestic ducks and geese separate from other poultry. Keepers will need to regularly clean their footwear.
Over the past year, H5N1 has shown an increasing ability to jump from birds to mammals. In the United States, many animals have been found to have infections.
According to William Schaffner of the University Medical Center in Nashville, Tennessee, measures taken to prevent the new strain from spreading beyond the farm seem to have been successful.
Carol Cardona is a professor at the University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine, and she says that it may not be sustainable given the current building styles. “The reason I say it can work is that companies that had [highly pathogenic avian flu] in 2015 had fewer cases in 2022. So they learned some lessons and changed some things—but very few of them kept it out completely.”