The Other Pandemic: Avian Flu Is Spreading Around the Globe

The Extinction Chronicles

ByClaire HamlettJanuary 19, 2021Wisconsin National Guard

As the world continues to battle the coronavirus pandemic, a parallel scenario is unfolding in the avian world. Outbreaks ofavian fluhave been detected on poultry farms from the UK to Japan, resulting in millions of birds being culled globally. In the UK, all captive birds have been forced into their own lockdown since mid-December, with keepers of flocks big and small ordered to keep their birds indoors for the foreseeable future.

Since November, multiple strains of the avian flu including the highly pathogenic H5N1, one of the most common strains, have been found on farms in Japan, South Korea, India, Russia, Israel, and several European countries. Highly pathogenic strains can cause severe illness in birds with symptoms including swelling of the head and difficulty breathing, though some birds such asduckscan be asymptomatic. Death is almost guaranteed within…

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