The USDA Is Gonna Do What?

320px-Chicken_vaccination-wikicommonsThe outbreak of several Asian-origin Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza A (HPAI) viruses is still wreaking havoc for industrial egg and turkey integrators. And the USDA has a vaccination program that’s supposed to address HPAI—but it’s naïve at best or ludicrous at worst.

It’s difficult to keep up with advancement of the HPAI viruses‑H5N2, H5N8, and H5N1—and difficult to keep up with the related data collected by the USDA’s Animal Plant and Health Inspection Service (APHIS). As of mid-to-late July, 223 separate reported incidents had affected more than 49 million birds. Fewer than 9,000 of the birds have been grown in small, so-called “backyard” operations. Read More >

“Not If, When:” What We Can Learn From Latest Swine Flu Outbreak

The World Health Organization is poised to raise the pandemic threat level as a deadly strain of the swine virus shows no sign of slowing down, according to a latest Reuters report. The New York Times reports that the number of people killed by the virus has climbed to 149 in Mexico and 8 of the 20 confirmed cases in the U.S. were diagnosed in New York City.

Reuters says the change in threat levels would indicate that the virus has mutated to the point that it is being transmitted from person to person more easily. According to an earlier Reuters report the CDC’s early analysis determined the virus strain, which is designated H1N1 (similar to the “Spanish Flu” which killed tens of millions of people in the early 20th Century) contains DNA from swine, human and avian viruses.

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