USDA secretary: Threat of bird flu not over yet
It has been more than a month since the last case of avian influenza was detected in the US, but USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack is not ready to declare the outbreak over, according to a recent interview with the Associated Press.
Vilsack told the news agency that poultry producers have benefitted from the warm weather this summer since these high temperatures can kill the virus. However USDA officials feel the outbreak could return the Midwest in the fall and spread to other regions as well.
The last case of the virus was detected in Iowa on June 17. Since December 2014, the USDA has confirmed cases of HPAI H5 in the Pacific, Central and Mississippi flyways (or migratory bird paths). The disease has been found in wild birds, as well as in more than 200 backyard and commercial poultry flocks, affecting some 48 million birds.
More information on avian influenza can be found at www.usda.gov/avianinfluenza.