Avian flu has been making the news with a recent outbreak that has affected poultry farms throughout the United States and Canada. While there is a low risk of these potentially deadly strains of influenza spreading to the general population, there are still some facts that you should be aware of to stay safe and healthy.
Avian flu has not infected humans in the U.S.
There have been no known infections of avian flu—which includes the strains H5N2, H5N8, and H5N1—in any person in the United States with the most recent outbreak of these flu strains in domestic poultry farms. Still, individuals who live or work near contaminated areas should be aware of the risk of contracting avian flu and alert a physician at the first signs of any respiratory illness.
Poultry products are still safe to eat
Poultry farms have managed avian flu by culling millions of infected birds to ensure the safety of meat and eggs sold on supermarket shelves. That means that consumers do not have to worry about contracting bird flu from eating chicken, turkey, or eggs. As a consequence of the short supply of these products, however, prices have soared and poultry farmers have sustained hundreds of millions of dollars in losses.
Egg and poultry prices are rising
Eggs are a staple in most kitchens, but they have had a wholesale price increase of as much as 80% in certain parts of the country. To keep your food budget in check and continue using some of your favorite recipes, you might consider swapping out egg for mashed banana or avocado, ground flax seeds and water, or applesauce. If you are craving the wholesomeness of scrambled eggs, you can use silken tofu or chickpea flour and water to create a similar dish that is packed with protein.
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