The Tennessee bird flu outbreak was close enough to Alabama to spark a follow-up by Alabama regulators, and they found bird flu at three of three tested sites (both commercial and backyard flocks).

While they think they found both the mild strain and the super virulent one, the USDA has to confirm. In the meantime, a large number of birds and their eggs were culled.

What does this mean?

The most immediate impact is that it’s bad for business. It could drive up poultry prices, and many countries have banned US poultry exports.

For the individual, the presence of bird flu isn’t a great sign. In the short term, there’s little to no threat to people and you don’t have to worry about your food being compromised. But for the medium and long term, there are still actions to take.

Keep pet birds and backyard flocks isolated from wild birds. If you’re a bird watcher, set limits on their presence in your yard. If you ever see a bird acting strange, such as stumbling, being alone, and having trouble flying, call and report it to your local animal authority.

In the long term, there’s a serious risk that the virulent strain of bird flu could impact other strains of flu. It could jump to humans, combine with one of the other animal strains (wild bird populations like seagulls spend time around animals that carry (basically) swine flu like seals), or otherwise influence the evolution of flu.

In addition to the above precautions when dealing with birds, keep up standard flu precautions: lots of handwashing, immune support like enough sleep, good eating, and extra support from colloidal silver.

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