My Thoughts on Technology and Jamaica: H5N2 Avian Flu State of Emergency in USA and Canada - Why Jamaica on alert for H5N2 or Mongoose and Crocodile back on the menu

Monday, June 8, 2015

H5N2 Avian Flu State of Emergency in USA and Canada - Why Jamaica on alert for H5N2 or Mongoose and Crocodile back on the menu

“The scale of this outbreak has been unprecedented, so we think it is important we take every possible step to limit the chance that this disease will spread any further”

Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey commenting on the outbreak of H5N2 in Iowa and Washington State

Jamaicans, if you're missing Chicken Meat on Sundays due to the ban on imported Chicken as reported in my blog article entitled “Ministry of Agriculture bans US, Canadian Chicken Products - Why H5N2 Avian Flu is Shadows of 2014 Chicken Shortage during Easter 2015”, fret not, we’re not alone!

Turns out our American counterparts are also having to forgoe eating Chicken meat.

Farmers in the state of Washington having to slaughter some 40 million Chickens in the month of May 2015 alone due to an outbreak of H5N2 as reported in the article “US egg prices soar as avian flu batters poultry industry”, published Friday, May 22, 2015, The Jamaica Observer.

The State of Washington also also declared a State of Emergency against the Disease, which to be honest is the first I've ever known that was actually possible. Health inspectors had discovered the H5N2 or avian flu had infected birds on a 63rd Farm in the state and promptly banned any and all public exhibition of Live birds at fairs, auctions, cockfights and other events.

The state of Iowa alone has killed some 25 million birds already in the month of May 2015. The immediate result is that the price of Chicken and all Chicken related products in the US of A has gone up by some 80%.

They join several other states in declaring themselves a disaster zone in terms of having Chickens and wild birds infected with H5N2 as listed below:

1.      Kansas
2.      Arkansas
3.      Missouri
4.      Minnesota
5.      California
6.      Idaho
7.      Oregon
8.      Washington

Canada has also seen an outbreak of H5N2 in the following Provinces:

1.      Ontario
2.      British Columbia

For this reason, the Ministry of Agriculture here in Jamaica has banned the importation of Chickens and all things derived from or related to Chickens since Friday March 12th 2015 as chronicled in my blog article entitled “Ministry of Agriculture bans US, Canadian Chicken Products - Why H5N2 Avian Flu is Shadows of 2014 Chicken Shortage during Easter 2015”.

So the question begs; will H5N2 come to Jamaica!?

H5N2 Avian Flu now causing State of Emergency in USA and Canada - Why Jamaica must protect out local Poultry Industry

H5N2 or avian flu, is the bird-friend version of H1N1 Swine flu that ravaging India as reported in my blog article entitled “Jamaican Chikungunya Outbreak possible – Why H1N1 Outbreak in Jamaica possible as 1,731 die in India from H1N1 Outbreak”.  

H5N2 surfaced in 2014 in wild birds in the far northwest state of Washington. Since then it has spread as far as these wild birds flu to the states listed above, with infections showing up in some fifteen (15) other states.

That potentially means that in May 2015 some 39 million birds have been infected with this new strain of Avian Flu. There is a possibility that H5N1 can jump from wild birds and poultry to humans like H5N1 in Asia back in 2004, but that's been ruled by the US Centers for Disease Control as being highly unlikely.

The US H5N2 Outbreak has caused the WHO (World Health Organization) for Animal Health, also called the OIE, to issue a general warning in the week of Friday May 22nd 2015, as outbreaks of H5N2have been popping up like pop-up tents, quote: “To prevent the disease from spreading, it is vital to implement OIE­recommended sub security measures in farms, in commerce and in live bird markets, disease surveillance and early detection. While the role of wild birds as reservoirs and vectors of the virus has been highlighted in these various epidemics, other factors of transmission, especially among poultry farms, could rise to prominence unless appropriate precautions are taken”.

So if H5N2 is spreading globally, it’s only a matter of time before it comes to Jamaica. Good to note here there is no treatment or cure for the H5N2 Virus; you just have to kill the infected animals, quarantine the farm and ban sales of Chicken products and associated byproducts.

Jamaica on alert for H5N2 - Slaughtering all Chickens is a possibility & Mongoose and Crocodile back on the menu

Still, here in Jamaica, the Ministur of Agriculture isn’t taking any chances. They, have imposed a ban on imported Chicken and all things Chicken related since March 2015. Specifically we've banned the importation of the following items:

1.      By-products not fully cooked
2.      Feathers
3.      Hatching eggs
4.      Live birds
5.      Offal i.e. internal organs including entrails from within the chickens
6.      Poultry
7.      Poultry products whether raw, chilled, fresh or frozen
8.      Powdered Egg yolks and Egg whites
9.      Raw pet foods containing poultry

The Ministry of Agriculture, working with the Public Health Department from the Ministry of Health, has made plans to incinerate all imported Chicken. If H5N2 is detected in Jamaica, we might also have to declare a similar State of Emergency in case H5N2 comes to our shores.

We would also have to slaughter all our Chickens, plunging Jamaica not only into a Chicken shortage but a severe Egg shortage as well by December 2015 continuing from 2014 as predicted in my blog article entitled “Egg Shortage in Jamaica set to continue to March 2014 - Poor Agricultural Planning to blame as Cheap Meat shortages forcing many to become Ovo-Lacto Vegetarians”.

So what will we do when Chickens go extinct, should this worst case scenario occur?

Back to eating Mongoose and Crocodile as meat replacement, as in that future, Eggs will be short as predicted in my blog article entitled “Jamaicans now Eating Sly Mongoose as Chicken Back shortage Gets closer to Christmas - Family and Community Gardens needed to Grow what we Eat and reduce Food Import Bill”.

Mongoose and Crocodile Tail soup anyone?

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