Florida Agriculture Officials Taking Heed of Avian Flu Warnings

There’s no sign of the avian influenza in the Unites States, but Florida Agriculture Commissioner Charles Bronson says they’ll step up their surveillance program and quadruple the number of birds that are tested for signs of the disease.

Charles Bronson says, “We’re sending out teams to do more tests on a weekly basis on birds all over the state. Anything that looks suspicious, any birds that have been found, wild or otherwise, dead, we’re running those tests and we’re running them on live birds as well just to keep up with what's happening out in the flocks right now.”

Under the new surveillance program, Bronson says they’ll end up testing 15,000 birds each year, mostly chickens. Researchers have recently discovered that the 1918 flu pandemic that killed 50 million people started out as a bird flu and jumped to humans.