USDA: Nearly 23 million birds killed to prevent avian influenza spread

Published: Apr. 7, 2022 at 6:05 PM EDT
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ATLANTA, Ga. (CBS46) - The U.S. Department of Agriculture is reporting an outbreak of the “bird flu” virus. Almost 23 million birds have been killed to prevent the spread of avian influenza, as case counts grow in the U.S.

“When it was time for migration, wild birds carried the virus,” said Dr. Louise Dufour-Zavala, executive director, Georgia Poultry Laboratory Network.

The consumer price index shows egg prices already up 11.4% this February compared to the year before. Some of that increase is due to inflation and supply chain issues, but it likely won’t get better if this virus continues to spread.

The poultry products available are still safe.

“It is not an issue for food safety either. It’s truly a live bird, a live production problem,” said Dufour-Zavala.

Fully cooking poultry and eggs will kill bacteria and viruses. The USDA also says their Food Safety and Inspection Service program should give consumers confidence the food they’re eating is safe. Their inspection checks for signs of disease both before and after slaughter, that’s to prevent infected poultry from entering the food chain.

State officials want you to report any bird you see that you think has the avian influenza.

You can contact the Georgia Poultry Laboratory Network from their Avian Influenza Hotline at 770-766-6850 or email at aihotline@gapoultrylab.org.