Battling Avian Diseases: The poultry industry’s tale of resilience

High Path Avian Flu (or HPAI), along with the return of Avian Pneumo-Virus and Reovirus, has raised concerns among poultry experts as the industry continues it’s recovery from past outbreaks.

For over two years, the U.S. poultry industry has grappled with the challenge of High Path Avian Flu. Despite efforts to contain the virus, a resurgence of Avian Pneumo-Virus, linked to Swollen Head Syndrome, is causing concern among industry experts. Merck Animal Health notes symptoms like sneezing and coughing.

The National Turkey Federation warns of the risks posed by this 90s-era disease. While a vaccine exists, updating it for the current strain will take time. Additionally, Reovirus, known for economic losses in the turkey industry, is making a comeback, according to the National Institute of Health.

Although gene editing was hoped to offer protection against High Path Avian Flu, experts caution against over-reliance due to the complexities of the virus. Recent data shows a slowdown in cases, with only one outbreak reported in March, affecting 70 birds in Massachusetts. The most significant recent case occurred in Missouri, where over 20,000 birds were culled in February.

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