Bird flu or avian flu refers to influenza caused by viruses adapted to birds. In 2015, the disease was caused by the H5N2 virus, and has killed close to 50 million birds in the US, mostly in Iowa, Minnesota and Nebraska. US Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack revealed that scientists are developing a vaccine that has already proved to be 100% effective in protecting chickens from bird flu but is yet to be tested on other birds including turkeys.
Speaking at a hearing of the House Agriculture Committee on Wednesday, Vilsack said, "My department would license the vaccine and distribute it throughout the country if it proved effective in turkeys too."
Bird flu cases have also been detected in other states of US, including Arkansas, Idaho, Montana, Missouri, North Dakota, South Dakota, Oregon, Wisconsin and Washington. Iowa, which produces the largest number of eggs, one out of every five consumed, in the US has been the hardest hit.