The United States Department of Agriculture recently confirmed that there has been several cases of avian influenza (HPAI) break out in the Pacific, Central and Mississippi flyways since December 2014. These flyways are common migratory bird paths. This disease has surfaced in a few poultry flocks as well as in wild birds. While the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention considers the chances of HPAI infections on people to be extremely low, the spreading of avian influenza is being watched very closely.
According to that recent report from the USDA, the avian flu is likely to be spread in several ways. Some of these ways includes machinery and a worker going back and forth between a contaminated area and one that is not yet exposed as well as being transmitted by rodents.
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Rodents have been known to transmit more than 35 diseases worldwide. The transmission of diseases from a rodent to a human can easily happen through direct handling of rodents, contact with rodent fluids such as urine, feces or saliva and from rodent bites. Rodents can also add to the transmission of diseases indirectly by way of fleas, mites or even ticks.
It is believed that migratory birds are responsible for transmitting the avian flu to the Midwest and, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there are no confirmed cases of avian flu in mammals. However, it is still a mystery as to how the avian flu is able to go from a wild bird into a poultry barn. “There’s actually evidence in the scientific literature that mice and other small rodents can actually carry the virus. Maybe not as a biological vector, but as a mechanical one,” says Dr. Brian McCluskey, the chief epidemiologist for the USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.
It is entirely possible that a rodent could have picked up contaminated material from a wild bird and transferred or carried the contamination into a poultry barn on its paws or in its fur. Even though the rodent may not be infected with the avian flu, he can still be the mobile vehicle for carrying the wild bird contaminants into a poultry barn. One bird that tests positive for the HPAI is sufficient cause for eradicating the entire flock. This risk of spreading the avian flu via rodents is certainly additional proof of the need for implementing methods to prevent rodents from infesting commercial establishments and poultry facilities.
If you have a need to keep rodents out of your home or commercial establishment, contact Wil-Kil. We will work with you to develop a plan to deal with any pests that you may have and prevent any future issues that could develop.