First case of avian flu identified in Arizona

An avian flu "prevention zone" has been implemented across the UK after a "devastating" outbreak of the disease.

The UK has faced 190 confirmed cases across the country since late October 2021 – 30 of which were confirmed since the beginning of this month.

There are currently 47 cases in the UK, 43 of which are in England, two in Scotland and one each in Wales and Northern Ireland.

It's not just the UK battling the disease after a near-record number of US chickens and turkeys dying in this year's avian flu outbreak.

It has now been revealed that viral TikTok star Emmanuel the emu has fallen sick after farm owner Taylor Blake shared the sad news online.

She wrote: "We lost 50+ birds in 3 days. I am still trying to wrap my head around it. We thought we were out of the woods when Emmanuel unexpectedly went down this past Wednesday.."

Sign up to our free Indy100 weekly newsletter

What is avian flu?

Avian flu, or bird flu, affects birds across many species.

It generally doesn't infect people, but due to being a zoonotic virus, it can be transmitted through contact with infected birds.

According to the World Organisation for Animal Health, the virus is generally classified into two categories. There is low pathogenicity avian influenza (LPAI), which typically causes little or no clinical signs. Then there's high pathogenicity avian influenza (HPAI), which can cause severe clinical signs and possible high mortality rates.

Forbes reported that the farm where Emmanuel lives is a highly pathogenic strain, which has been impacting birds in the US since January 2022.

In the UK, the situation is particularly severe in East Anglia, where commercial and small-scale bird keepers are being hit, and mandatory housing measures for all poultry and captive birds in Norfolk, Suffolk and parts of Essex were introduced earlier in October.

The disease has also ripped through breeding colonies of seabirds, killing thousands in some sites and affecting threatened species from puffins to hen harriers.

Have your say in our news democracy. Click the upvote icon at the top of the page to help raise this article through the indy100 rankings.

Please log in or register to upvote this article
The Conversation (0)