Cheraw Chronicle

Complete News World

Is bird flu dangerous to humans?  "may mutate"

Is bird flu dangerous to humans? “may mutate”

Currently, bird flu is taking a hard hit in Europe, says Nancy Berens, a virologist at the Avian Flu Laboratory at Wageningen University. “In Italy, there are almost 200 outbreaks,” she says. “And then it’s not that bad here in the Netherlands: we’re 11th.” But remember, bird flu season has just begun.”


The one who knows what it’s like when his chickens are culled as a result of bird flu is poultry farmer Sijds Dijkstra from Zeewolde. It happened in October last year. “It went really fast,” he told EditieNL. “I have no idea how she got into the stable.” “We’re an organic company, and our chickens are also allowed to roam outside. But I don’t think it’s about that.”

Dykstra suspects it “must have exploded in the stable or something”. “You can’t stop it, I think it’s constantly changing. Because I feel like it’s getting worse every year.”

At the moment, Dijkstra’s stables are empty, since the government disinfected the chickens and disinfected the stables last year. “I think this approach is effective: we’re immediately clear.” Before Dijkstra fills the barns completely again, he wants to test the chickens. About twenty per stable. “Just to see if they never get sick again. We’ll let them sit for about three weeks. We expect to be able to pick up on the subject again in March.”

“So don’t touch dead animals if you find them in the garden, for example,” Berenz pleads. “Because bird flu can accidentally spread to humans, we’ve already seen that many times.”


Moreover, the most important way to contain bird flu is to disinfect poultry farms. “We’re fast, so we’re doing really well,” says the virologist. “Letting birds sick is not really an option: more than ninety percent of chickens simply die within a few days. Culling is the most convenient method for animals.”

Then the vaccination? “In Europe you are not allowed to vaccinate chickens, if you do, you are not allowed to trade poultry products,” says Berens. She also believes that there is no good enough vaccine at the moment. “Then there’s the risk that the chicken won’t get a fatal illness, but will get a little sick. And then there’s still a chance the flu will mutate to your plate.”


If there is a working vaccine in the future, poultry farmer Dijkstra will give it to his birds right away. But not at the moment, mainly due to the regulations. “Then I could no longer sell my eggs. I really wonder how effective it is,” he says. “Soon I must raise all my chickens.”