Bird flu outbreak kills more than 50 million birds in the US

Bird Flu

Bird flu has killed 50.54 million birds in the United States this year, making it the country’s deadliest outbreak on record, US Department of Agriculture data showed.

The die-off of chickens, turkeys and other poultry represents the worst U.S. animal health disaster on record, surpassing the previous record of 50.5 million birds that died from an outbreak of bird flu in 2015.

Birds often die after becoming infected. Entire flocks are also destroyed to control the spread of the disease even if a single bird tests positive.

Poultry flock losses drove prices for eggs and poultry to record levels, worsening the economic crisis for consumers grappling with inflation and making Thursday’s Thanksgiving celebration more expensive in the United States.

Europe and Britain are also suffering their worst bird flu crises and some British supermarkets rationalized customers’ egg purchases after the outbreak disrupted supplies.

The U.S. outbreak, which began in February, infected poultry and non-poultry flocks in 46 states, USDA data show.

Wild birds such as ducks transmit the virus, known as highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI), through feces, feathers or direct contact with birds.

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