Avian influenza has led to the deaths and culling (the organized, systematic segregating of organisms from the rest of the group because they don’t possess desired characteristics) of more than 300 million chickens, ducks and geese and an unknown number of wild birds between 2005 and 2021.

North America is in the midst of the worst outbreak on record.

“There is concern about it having pandemic potential,” says Wendy Blay Puryear, a molecular virologist at Tufts University. “Before Covid was on anybody’s radar, this was the one that we were all watching very closely.” While the virus is currently considered a low risk to humans, she also states: “But anything that has the ability to replicate and evolve rapidly, and anything that has that ability to infect a lot of different hosts is kind of on borrowed time.” [source]

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