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Today’s Infectious Disease News (1/20/22)

Ecuador Reports its First Human Case of Avian Flu as Virus Ravages US Poultry Farms

The Avian flu epidemic that has spread throughout the world has caused the first human infection in Ecuador. Authorities confirmed that a 9 year old girl has been hospitalized for a severe Avian Flu infection. The virus’s direct threat to humans remains low. Seven people worldwide have contracted the Avian flu during the current wave of outbreaks. The risk of contaminating the food supply is also minimal given proper handling of the meat and eggs. However, the months-long string of outbreaks has wreaked havoc on the poultry industry, as over 50 million birds have been killed. These Avian flu outbreaks have been harder to contain than previous ones because the virus is now more prevalent in wild birds. Even after farms undergo painstaking, months-long process of clearing the avian flu from their property, the virus can be reintroduced by wild birds. This struggle has led to an ongoing shortage of eggs and poultry as well as inflated prices.

Full Story: CIDRAP, NBC News