Avian flu has been a prominent concern for many years, but it was thought to have significantly diminished due to recent developments.
These hopes might be slightly too optimistic, however, as the avian flu struck several farms in Canada very recently. The discovery of the virus in several location that produce turkey and chicken meat for the export led to seven countries refusing to continue to buy the meat.
The United States, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, China, South Africa and Mexico stopped importing the Canadian poultry. The virus actually disappears when the meat is well cooked, but somehow, the contamination of the farm workers must be avoided as well.
No avian flu has been registered among the workers by now. The farms where poultry deaths due to influenza were reported are now quarantined. The chickens and turkeys are to be euthanized. The cause of the infection is not certain. According to the veterinarians, the migrating birds might have brought the virus among the farm chickens. Some exchanges of birds took place between the farms, so the sick birds have quickly spread the disease throughout the region.
The officials are taking quick measures to destroy the affected birds and avoid a powerful outbreak similar to the one in 2004. At that time, 17 million domestic birds at 42 infected farms had to be killed. That is an economic loss of hundreds of millions of dollars, and Sam Tabar can hardly believe it.