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Avian Influenza Virus.

Avian Influenza Virus (AIV) is still in the news, on television and the Internet. Governmental and regulatory agencies have pages of information on Avian Influenza Virus (AIV) available to the public. Many universities and poultry companies also have fact sheets, news updates and brochures on their sites. Several sites are listed so you will have tools to get quick and accurate answers about the disease.

AMERICAN MUSHROOM INSTITUTE

http://www.americanmushroom.org

AMI's Web site has a food safety link that can be accessed by clicking on "Resources." Select food safety, then Avian Influenza Fact Sheet to bring up the article that concerns mushroom composting and poultry manure: Avian Influenza Virus (AIV) Should the Mushroom Industry Be Concerned? by Luke LaBorde, the Pennsylvania State University Food Science Department. The article was originally printed in Mushroom News, May 2004 and reprinted in the January 2006 News Flash. The article says that virus particles in chicken manure were completely inactivated after six days at 15-20[degrees]C (59-68[degrees]F), 36 hours at 28-30[degrees]C, and after only 20 minutes at 56[degrees]C (133[degrees]F). Based on this data, there is more than enough time for the virus to be completely inactivated during Phase I and Phase II composting. The article also suggests that mushroom growers should get assurances from poultry manure suppliers that biosecurity control measures are followed and that the company participates in an active AIV surveillance program.

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AVIAN INFLUENZA (BIRD FLU)

http://www.usda.gov

This is the official U.S. government Web site for information on pandemic flu and avian influenza. Fact sheets, glossary of terms, proper food handling photos and a brochure, Avian Influenza--USDA Efforts and Response, can be printed. The site also includes information on screening of wild birds, news releases and transcripts. Links to the U.S. Department of the Interior and National Wildlife Health Center as well as many others agencies can be accessed from this site.

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U.S. FOOD & DRUG ADMINISTRATION (FDA)

http://www.cfsan.fda.gov/~dms/avfluqa.html

A variety of questions and answers on avian influenza and food safety are explored on this site. For example:

Have there been reports of Asian bird flu-infected birds in the U.S.?

At this time, there have been no reports of Asian bird flu strains circulating in wild or domestic birds in the United States. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is collaborating with the Department of Interior to develop sampling plans to look for Asian bird flu virus in migratory birds in the United States, and it is possible that infected migratory birds will be identified; however, exposure to the virus in migratory birds rarely causes human infections.

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Can people get bird flu directly from infected birds?

Yes, although it is a rare occurrence, people have become infected with the Asian bird flu and other bird flu viruses directly from birds. Most human infections have occurred after people had extensive exposure to infected chickens, ducks, turkeys or their environment. Generally infections with bird flu have resulted only in a mild eye inflammation (conjunctivitis). However, many people in Asia who were infected with the current Asian bird flu strain developed typical influenza symptoms of fever, cough, muscle aches and headache, and the illnesses were fatal in a high proportion of reported Asian bird flu cases. Since 2003, there have been more than 100 cases of human infections in Asia due to infection with the Asian bird flu virus. There has been very limited spread of infection from person to person, but a few cases have occurred among healthcare providers and family members.

POULTRY PRODUCERS SHOULD UNITE AGAINST AVIAN INFLUENZA FEARS

http://www.agriculture.state.pa.us

PA Department of Agriculture Secretary Dennis Wolff outlines the Commonwealth's human and animal protection plan. Pennsylvania currently leads the nation in surveillance, performing more than 240,000 tests last year on flocks and at live bird markets. The PA laboratory system includes experts on avian influenza, and is home to leading edge technologies to identify the disease. The PA Department of Agriculture has a comprehensive plan to detect and contain infected flocks.

Secretary Wolff says there are a few key points regarding avian influenza that need to be communicated to the public. Primarily, it is important to know that the strain of avian influenza, H5N1, which is being reported in Asia and Europe as killing humans and animals, is one very specific strain, and has never been in the United States. Pennsylvania regularly finds avian influenza, generally 10-15 times per year, but these strains are not the same as the one in the news, and pose no threat to bird or human health.

PA PANDEMIC FLU PREPAREDNESS

www.pandemicflu.state.pa.us

This site provides people with timely, accurate and reliable information abut pandemic influenza. The site features specific resources and directions for various groups--including local governments, individuals, businesses, schools, healthcare providers, communities and agriculture. Pennsylvania-specific planning documents, articles and fact sheets are available for download. The site includes an emergency preparedness guide, advice for hunters, symptoms of Avian Influenza in humans as well as many other topics and updates.

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UC Davis Veterinary Medicine Extension

http://www.vetmed.ucdavis.edu/vetext/INF-PO_AvianInfluenzaFS.html

Carol J. Cardona, Extension Poultry Veterinarian, University of California, Davis says that more avian influenza viruses have been isolated from ducks than any other species although most free-flying birds may also be infected including shorebirds, gulls and other seabirds. Waterfowl are more resistant to avian influenza than are domestic poultry. Viruses that cause no obvious disease in waterfowl can be highly pathogenic (rapidly fatal) in domestic poultry. Among domestic poultry species, turkeys are more commonly infected than chickens.

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The Pennsylvania State University Web Site

http://www.cas.psu.edu/docs/biosecurity/ANIMAL/AI/default.html

This site lists Pennsylvania AIV information and resources, federal and international agency information including links to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), World Health Organization (WHO), Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, United Kingdom (DEFRA) as well as many other state and national organizations. The site explains that avian influenza usually does not make wild birds sick, but can make domesticated birds very sick and kill them. Avian influenza viruses do not usually infect humans; however, several instances of human infections and outbreaks have been reported since 1997. When such infections occur, public health authorities monitor the situation closely because of concerns about the potential for more widespread infection in the human population.

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Perdue Farms

http://www.perdue.com/company/news/press_release.html?id=1136

Perdue Answers Your Avian Influenza Questions

Does Perdue import poultry from other countries?

No. All Perdue products sold in the U.S. come from poultry raised by farm families in the United States. We do not import any chickens or poultry products. In fact, less than one percent of U.S. poultry is imported, and only from areas that are free of avian influenza.

What's being done to protect U.S. flocks?

The United States has multiple lines of defense to prevent the introduction of Asian bird flu here, including bans on the importation of bird and bird products from affected areas and aggressive surveillance of migratory birds and domestic flocks. U.S. poultry from companies like Perdue are raised in environmentally controlled houses, which protects them from contact with potential disease carriers. Strict biosecurity procedures for all aspects of live production are designed to prevent the introduction of disease onto a farm. Our producers, flock supervisors and poultry veterinarians monitor the health of every flock.

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Title Annotation:general issue
Publication:Mushroom News
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Oct 1, 2006
Words:1273
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