Some Questions about Avian Influenza

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by country_wife, Apr 26, 2006.

  1. country_wife

    country_wife Evil Poptart

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    I have several questions about AI and I'm wondering if anyone here has run across the answers.

    1. I've read that AI is contagious to cats. If, per chance, the gov't kills a persons backyard flock, what will happen to the cats?

    2. According to another article I read, meat will be safe if cooked to a specific temp. How about eggs?

    3. In the same article, it states that commercial chicken is safe because the chickens are kept inside a building. Um...how the heck to they keep the wild birds out of the building? I've seen them in Lowe's, Walmart, and every feed store I've ever been to...which brings me to #4...

    4. How is feed going to be safe when wild birds are in the feed store?

    5. What does the gov't plan to do about the wild birds that give this virus to the chickens to start with? Seems to me that killing the chickens won't accomplish much to control the outbreak when wild birds are still dropping AI infected doo all over our laundry, our cars, our gardens...and don't flame me as if I am advocating killing every wild bird in the country..I'm simply wondering if the powers that be have put forth a plan other than just killing chickens.

    6. What is the point in constructing an 'AI proof' shelter for our flocks when the gov't plans to kill them with no testing?

    7. Is there any way to combat all this hype? A poster in another AI thread mentions this is not the first AI outbreak, but it's certainly the most hyped.

    Thanks for any info you can supply.
     
  2. goatlady

    goatlady Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Really sort of difficult to answer especially if you are not real familiar with H5N1 (Bird Flu). It's commonly carried by migrating waterfowl i.e. ducks, geese, etc. who migrate looong distances. Their poop in the water where they rest, feed, nest becomes contaminated with the virus and the local chickens who also water there pick it up. It is NOT in all birds now, especially song birds and all those wrens and sparrows you see in stores, so those birds are NOT a worry, so far. Cooked poultry AND cooked eggs are supposed to be safe to eat, but many are questioning the handling of the poultry and eggs BEFORE cooking. No answer for that one at this time except from the poultry/egg producers who, of course, want to continue to sell their products. The commercial poultry houses SHOULD be safe at this point as water birds rarely get in them and those poor chickens/turkeys NEVER get out of those houses. Bird droppings don't seem to be able to contaminate the sacks of feed in the feed stores - cannot get through the paper/cloth sacks. OUr government has been stating very clearly since the beginning of the year via HHS Sec. Levitte that they can do NOTHING to stop the virus from entering the U.S. and they will be able to do NOTHING to help the population if/when H5N1 mutates to move quickly human to human infection-wise. The govnt. flat out says it's up to the local/state governments to make their own plans and take care of their own populace. It boils down to we will be on our own if this virus goes pandemic. The "plan" to kill all the chickens is just spin control with the government tryuing to show they are doing SOMETHING even if it is a waste of time and effort. They will NOT be able to kill all backyard chicken flocks - too many chickens, too few "inspectors", too much resistance from the owners. All influenza starts/came from birds - this one is very different in that it is very deadly to domestic birds and has exhibited the ability to jump from domestic bird to humans with a 50% death rate in infected humans. This virus H5N1 is only a few gene sequences away from going efficiently human to human and also extremely similar genewise to the Spanich Flu of 1918 which killed hundreds of thousands of people in the 2 years it was circling the globe. If you want detailed, up-to-date information you can check out www.curevents.com in The Flu Clinic.
     

  3. country_wife

    country_wife Evil Poptart

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    Thanks. That does answer a lot of my questions and I will check out the link. I was not aware that it was mainly the waterfowl that carried the virus, although I did read swans were highly susceptible.

    As far as eggs are concerned, does that mean no more sunny side up?? :shrug:
     
  4. BaronsMom

    BaronsMom Well-Known Member

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    The Avian Flu Web site and Pandemic Flu Web site from the US Department of Health and Human Services. Look at the menu on the left hand side - lots of info.

    http://avianflu.gov/
     
  5. kesoaps

    kesoaps Well-Known Member

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    Can't answer all of your questions, but here are some of the answers:

    Eggs are safe; there is no danger in eating eggs.


    You'd think indoors would be safer, but commercial chicken farms in BC, Canada were 4 times as likely to have contracted the last bout of Avian Flu.

    I don't think it's the most hyped. The one a few years ago was pretty hyped around here; we didn't have any poultry shows in this region that year, and everyone was on the lookout for dead birds that may be carriers. I find that if it doesn't involve me directly, or if someone hasn't turned me onto something, I sometimes don't hear it (no matter how often it's on the news! I just tune it out...)
     
  6. BobK

    BobK Well-Known Member

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  7. susieM

    susieM Well-Known Member

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    They'll kill the cats, and possibly the dogs, too.

    No more homemade mayonnaise, either.
     
  8. mamagoose

    mamagoose Well-Known Member

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    I wouldn't be so concerned govt officials will show up (although this did happen one time when we transported goats from TX - talk about being surprised!), but I surely believe a "neighbor" would take the liberty while we weren't home and kill my birds out of fear.
     
  9. kars1995

    kars1995 Well-Known Member

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    Also check out www.fluwikie.com. They have lots of info in their discussion forum.



    8-7-13 the company has asked that you know the new web address is: www.medcko.com
     
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  10. insocal

    insocal Well-Known Member

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    AFAIK, the cat situation is up in the air. Yes, in a few cases cats have caught H5N1 from poultry/wild birds. It does infect them, and has a high mortality rate. But there have not been many cases.

    I got an email from our county health dept's head veterinarian and she says that if H5N1 is detected in the US it will become VERY important to KEEP CATS TOTALLY INDOORS, for their own safety and to keep them from spreading it among birds and other cats.

    My own concern is whether or not a cat with H5N1 could spread it to a human, and what would THEN happen to the person............If that were a problem, and people started dying of H5N1 caught from cats, the feces would hit the ventilator in a VERY BIG WAY. But there is currently no evidence that this could happen.

    As a cat vet, I am of course worried about all the possibilities. I could lose everything I have worked 24 years for if my patients all become public enemy #1. Not to mention the danger to my own health. But I am not losing sleep at night over this one. I am just thinking out contingency plans.
     
  11. country_wife

    country_wife Evil Poptart

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    Insocal, that's a very good point. What will happen to people that have been exposed to H5N1? I know I've probably seen one too many scary movies, but that movie "Virus" keeps coming to mind. At least I think that was the tital..with Dustin Hoffman... :shrug:
     
  12. Wilbursmommy

    Wilbursmommy Well-Known Member

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    Also check out: www.superflutalk.com

    Also ABC is going to have a made for Tv movie about what it could be like if BF goes pandemic in America. May 9th at 7pm.