by Karen Faulkner, Worthy News Correspondent
(Worthy News) – A massive outbreak of bird flu has led to the culling of more than 58 million chickens, turkeys and wild birds in the United States, Sky News reports. The worst the nation has ever seen, the outbreak has caused the government to begin testing four potential bird flu vaccines to protect US poultry against the killer disease.
The current strain of bird flu is known as H5N1, Sky News reports. It is proving even more difficult to manage than its predecessor, the H5N8 strain, which required 50 million US poultry birds to be culled in 2015: H5N1 is spreading through the wild bird population in addition to farm birds.
In a statement about the crisis, Professor Jennifer Mullinax of the University of Maryland, described the outbreak as “unprecedented,” Sky News reports. Calling on government agencies and the agriculture sector to take action, Mullinax said: “We are all going to have to deal with this together because we can’t afford not to.”
The bird flu is “wiping out everything in numbers we’ve never seen before,” Mullinax warned.
Accordingly, the US Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Agricultural Research Service is testing the four bird flu vaccines as part of a long process toward the possibility of inoculating the nation’s poultry against future strains of the disease.
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