Bird flu has killed thousands of Florida wild birds this year, biologists are concerned.
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Bird flu in Florida
Reports of a new strain of bird flu highly infectious had been confirmed a month earlier in Canadain Florida the nightmare came on January 22, 2022.
Biologists had been watching with eager anticipation for the birds’ approach, all was going well until this fearsome disease was discovered.
“That was the first page”said Mark Cunningham, leader of the fish and wildlife health subsection of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.
Some hunters county Palm Beach they delivered two ducks. They had just been killed, and were routinely tested for disease at a checkpoint.
It is organized by the United States Department of Agricultureand that’s how it started bird flu in Florida.
The pair of blue-winged ducks, with a white stripe across their faces and bluish wing feathers, were the first two animals in the state to test positive for highly pathogenic avian flu, which has no treatment.
“We are now on page 500”Cunningham said.
Suddenly, the biologists y veterinarians they started with hard research work to be able to stop the avian flu. 11 months have passed and it is estimated that thousands of wild birds have died, including much-loved species like bald eagles and great horned owls
“This is the first time we have had highly pathogenic avian influenza in wild birds in Florida. And it has really exploded.”declared Mark Cunningham.
Florida Bird Flu Begins in Brevard
The epicenter of the outbreak initially arose in the county of Brevard and along the Atlantic coast of Florida in early February.
This when hundreds of Lesser Mallard ducks, a common black-headed North American diving duck, began to show signs of neurological distress. Since then it has spread as far north as Okaloosa and to the south of Miami-Dade.
More than half of the counties in Florida confirmed or suspected cases of the strain of bird flu extremely infectious.
The US Department of Agriculture shows about 1,450 cases in Florida of bird flu until November. But the true total is suspected to be much higher than that, Cunningham said.
Many cases are presumptive positive, but have not been formally tested.
As Cunningham explains: If biologists see 50 dead birds and test three of them, and all three are confirmed to have the virus, the other 47 are suspected to be positive.
“We estimate that there are many thousands of birds that have died,” Cunningham said. And there are “well over 2,000 confirmed cases” in vultures alone.
The state wildlife commission says there is a “low risk” of humans contracting the virus. virusand this year no human case has been confirmed in Florida.
wildlife officials “They warn to avoid contact with these (birds) and to contact the public health department with any concern of a possible infection or exposure”the agency writes on a web page dedicated to the outbreak.