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Bird Flu: Several Farms Under Lockdown, Over 1 Million Chickens To Be Slaughtered In Australia

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Bird Flu Australia

Highly pathogenic avian influenza (bird flu) has now spread to a seventh poultry farm near Melbourne, according to the government of Victoria State in Australia.

Six farms are affected by the H7N3 flu strain, while the seventh deals with the H7N9 strain. Neither of these strains is the H5N1 type, which has infected billions of wild and farmed animals globally and raised concerns about human transmission.

The affected properties include six egg farms and one duck farm. The government announced last week that approximately one million chickens, which account for about 5% of Australia’s egg-laying flock, have been or will be culled to contain the virus.

Despite the outbreaks, there has been no egg shortage, though some retailers have implemented purchase limits.

Last month, Australia reported its first case of avian influenza in a young child who previously contracted the disease in India but recuperated.

This came when the U.S. reported that a farm worker was diagnosed with bird flu, marking the second human case linked to an outbreak in U.S. dairy cows.

Following the detection of the avian influenza strain, H5N1 in humans, the U.S. and Europe have been working to obtain H5N1 bird flu vaccines to vaccinate at-risk poultry and dairy workers, veterinarians, and lab technicians, as experts believe these measures could help prevent a pandemic.

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