DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — It's been five months since the H5N2 bird flu virus was discovered in the United States, and producers have lost 21 million birds in the Midwest alone. Yet, researchers acknowledge they still know little about a bird flu virus that's endangered turkey and egg-laying chicken populations that supply much of the nation.
Scientists at the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other federal agencies are puzzled by the H5N2 virus' spread — even amid heightened biosecurity measures — and apparent lack of widespread deaths in largely unprotected backyard flocks.
"At this point, we don't know very much about these viruses because they've only recently been identified," Dr. Alicia Fry, the CDC's leader of the influenza prevention and control team, said. "We're following the situation very closely because this is something we're continuing to understand."
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