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PNS Daily Newscast - November 11, 2018. 


More than 12-hundred missing in the California wildfires. Also on the Monday rundown: a pair of reports on gun violence in the nation; plus concerns that proposed Green-Card rules favor the wealthy.

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Expert Says Bird Flu Outbreak Destined to Happen

PHOTO: Kentucky has restricted the sale and movement of birds as the nation continues to grapple with a widespread outbreak of avian influenza. Photo by Greg Stotelmyer.
PHOTO: Kentucky has restricted the sale and movement of birds as the nation continues to grapple with a widespread outbreak of avian influenza. Photo by Greg Stotelmyer.
June 15, 2015

FRANKFORT, Ky. – The outbreak of avian influenza that has decimated hundreds of poultry operations in more than a dozen states has been a surprise to many.

But, one expert says it was destined to happen.

Rob Wallace, who has served as a consultant on bird flu for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), says the production model in the commercial poultry industry is a prime target for an outbreak and must be changed to take into account that the birds are imbedded into an ecology.

"When you organize mono-cultures of poultry, 50,000 birds in a barn, that is all just food for influenza,” he points out. “And if you develop diverse strains and stock of birds, that will provide the immunological diversity necessary to resist any pathogen that comes through."

Kentucky has banned the sale of birds in flea markets, swap meets and stockyards. The poultry industry is a $1.2 billion enterprise in the commonwealth.

Wallace says there is a possible danger to human health, as the CDC recently warned.

"Now, I'm not saying it's going to happen, because there are plenty of avian influenzas that have emerged and that have not gone to going to human to human,” he states. “However, there are many examples in which that has indeed happened, even within the last 10 years."

Wallace adds another key to preventing an outbreak is through the restoration of wetlands, which would help keep infected wild birds from intermingling with commercial poultry flocks.

In late April, the U.S. Department of Agriculture confirmed the presence of influenza in two wild birds in McCracken County. There have been no detections in domestic flocks in Kentucky.


Greg Stotelmyer , Public News Service - KY