Friday, January 13, 2006

Avian influenza situation report january 13 2006

A serious strain of the avian influenza virus has infected 147 people, killing at least 78 in six countries, according to the World Health Organization.The H5N1 avian influenza virus has been found in wild birds and poultry in countries such as Turkey, Romania and Ukraine, forcing the slaughter of more than 150 million birds worldwide.

The avian influenza virus has spread rapidly in Turkey in recent weeks, killing at least two children and infecting a total of 18 people, according to Turkish authorities. Experts say the H5N1 virus could become more active in the colder months in affected regions, and could spread in Asia as people slaughter chickens for Lunar New Year celebrations.

USDA’s Shagam forecast U.S. poultry exports to be less in 2006 by around 190 million pounds because of the current avian influenza situation in Turkey and other countries. People in these countries are eating less chicken for fear of becoming contaminated with the H5N1 strain of avian influenza.

The U.S. Poultry & Egg Export Council, a trade group, said it was not convinced that exports will suffer because of avian influenza disease."I’m encouraged by the numbers that I’m seeing. I would not be surprised if we would find that we wind up better off than what the USDA is predicting for 2006,” said James Sumner, president of the council.

He said consumer fears in other countries should dissipate as the public learns that avian influenza (bird Flu) cannot be contracted by eating properly cooked chicken.

Posted by john T. on 01/13 at 03:41 PM
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