KOB 4 News (Albuquerque, NM) reports that concern is growing within New Mexico about the spread of avian influenza, which is more commonly known as “bird flu.”

Yesterday (4/16/2024), New Mexico Department of Agriculture officials verified the presence of bird flu at a poultry farm in Roosevelt County, which follows detection of the virus in migratory birds and at two separate dairy farms in nearby Curry County.  Although the bird flu is not deadly for cows, it does reduce milk production.

In accordance with usual procedure in such outbreaks, all of the chickens at the Roosevelt County poultry farm will be euthanized.

Samantha Uhrig, a veterinarian with the State of New Mexico, stated that “historically, there have been peaks in avian influenza cases, over the last couple of years.  Generally, in spring and fall, they coincide with [the] migration of migratory birds…so I think that there’s not necessarily an increased risk overall, nationwide.”

The KOB 4 News report may be read in full HERE.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (“CDC”) maintains information regarding avian influenza on its website.  As of April 10, 2024, the CDC estimates 85,871,486 birds have been impacted with the H5N1 virus – a highly pathogenic avian influenza (“HPAI”) that can cause severe disease and high mortality in infected poultry.

For the first time since 2016 and beginning in January 2022, HPAI A(H5) viruses have been detected in wild aquatic birds, commercial poultry and backyard or hobbyist flocks.

Avian influenza refers to disease in birds caused by infection with avian (bird) influenza (flu) Type A viruses, which occur naturally among wild aquatic birds worldwide and can infect domestic poultry and other bird or animal species.

Infected birds can shed avian influenza A viruses in their saliva, nasal secretions and feces. Susceptible birds become infected when they have contact with the virus as it is shed by infected birds or through contact with contaminated surfaces.

The CDC has more information regarding avian influenza in birds HERE.

Avian influenza A viruses do not usually infect humans, although there have been some rare instances of human infection.  Illness in humans from avian influenza virus infections have ranged in severity from no symptoms, to mild illness, to severe disease resulting in death.

The Avian influenza A(H7N9) virus, and the highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) A(H5N1) and A(H5N6) viruses, have been responsible for most human illness worldwide.

The CDC has more information regarding avian influenza in humans HERE.

My brothers and sisters, the good news is that bird flu is well understood and can be reliably discovered through laboratory testing.  There is also no immediate concern regarding widespread outbreaks or human illnesses related to the virus; however, the financial impact upon New Mexico dairy and poultry farms is profound once a localized outbreak is discovered, as it seems that euthanizing the animals is the only effective course of action.

As believers, let’s pray for the containment and eradication of this virus from both migratory birds and commercial or domesticated animals (e.g., poultry, cattle).  Let’s also pray that persons who contact, raise, manage, ship and or eat such animals will be protected from infection.  It’s safe to say that we are dealing enough issues today without adding a bird flu endemic, epidemic or pandemic to the list!

The Lord encourages us to pray into all situations, with thanksgiving in our hearts.  As believers, we can trust that when we pray in agreement with the Father’s will, we have the authority, in the name of Jesus and the power of His shed blood, to bind up evil and to loose blessing over our lives and within the world:

Philippians 4:6-7 (NKJV)
“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”

Matthew 18:18-19 (NKJV)
“Assuredly, I say to you, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.  Again[,] I say to you that if two of you agree on earth concerning anything that they ask, it will be done for them by My Father in heaven.”

Praise Jesus forevermore!

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