Thanksgiving turkey costs will probably be quite a bit greater as a result of a near-record hen flu outbreak

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Discovering a Thanksgiving turkey this yr will probably be an early Christmas miracle—and also you’ll in all probability pay a fairly penny in the event you handle to.

The typical worth of a complete frozen turkey is $2.45 per pound—almost 75 cents extra per pound than final yr, in response to a Nov. 4 report from the U.S. Division of Agriculture.

The explanation: a foul season of hen flu that would find yourself as one for the historical past books.

Greater than 49 million birds in 46 states have died on account of the hen flu to date this yr, both because of the virus itself or having been killed to curb publicity of different birds, the U.S. Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention mentioned in a Thursday report.

The most important hen flu outbreak in U.S. historical past occurred in 2015, in what the company has known as “arguably probably the most important animal well being occasion in U.S. historical past.” That yr, 50.5 million birds in 21 states died, in response to the CDC. This yr’s complete isn’t far behind, and already a bigger variety of states is affected.

The pressure affecting birds this yr is H5N1, deemed a “extremely pathogenic avian virus” by the CDC. Since January, it’s been detected in wild aquatic birds, industrial poultry, and yard and interest flocks. Some extremely pathogenic avian viruses, referred to as HPAIs, much like H5N1 are recognized to wreck a number of organs and kill from 90% to 100% of chickens they infect.

The excellent news: The virus is at the moment thought to pose little threat to people, and just one human case has been reported to date this yr, in response to the CDC. The affected person, a poultry farm employee in Colorado, was handled with antivirals exterior of the hospital and solely suffered fatigue, in response to the World Well being Group. 

The hen flu has induced a variety of diseases in people earlier than, from gentle to extreme. Thus, the CDC urges warning when interacting with birds, each at work and at residence. To keep away from contracting the hen flu or spreading it to different birds or animals like pets, the company recommends that folks:

  • Keep away from direct contact with wild birds when doable.
  • Notice that birds don’t need to look sick to hold hen flu.
  • Don’t contact birds that look sick, or lifeless birds, with out sporting protecting gear.
  • Don’t contact surfaces which may have saliva, mucus, or feces from any sort of hen, wild or home, and definitely don’t contact your eyes, nostril, or mouth, in the event you do contact such surfaces.
  • Wash your palms after touching birds.
  • Use protecting gear like gloves, an N95 respirator or a well-fitting face masks, and eye safety, in the event you work with birds.
  • Change your garments after working with sick poultry and/or after dealing with wild birds. Throw away your PPE and wash your palms with cleaning soap and water.

The USDA reminds customers to prepare dinner all poultry and eggs to an inner temperature of 165 ˚F as a normal precaution.

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