WARREN, Ohio (WKBN) — A highly contagious and deadly strain of bird flu is spreading across parts of the U.S.
Over the last two months, more than 13 million chickens, turkeys and other birds have died from the illness.
The outbreak has wildlife experts on high alert.
Heather Merritt with Birds in Flight Sanctuary said she and her team are taking every precaution they can think of including separating their birds, but at this point, they have more questions than answers.
“If we get a positive avian influenza test, they would shut us down completely. It also would put all the animals that we have at risk to be euthanized. So we know that separating them and quarantining them is the way to go. We’re lucky that we’re building. But like I said, it’s an extra $100,000 to put into four quarantine units,” said Merritt.
Seven years ago, a bird flu outbreak ripped through the U.S. poultry industry. More than 50 million chickens and turkeys died, and egg prices soared.
Researchers believed ducks and geese started the outbreak. They can carry the virus in their saliva or waste.