Could Bird Flu Be the Next Pandemic?

The headline you just read was taken directly from a late-April issue of The Guardian. It’s one of the largest newspapers in the U.K.

If you’re thinking, “No way!” or “That’s sensationalism,” consider this. Avian flu has been transmitted from mammals to at least two humans in America.

Bird flu had already been discovered in cattle in the U.S., including dairy cows. Traces of the virus have been found in milk and dairy. That’s according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Dr. Mandy Cohen is the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. She said, “The fact that it is in cattle now definitely raises our concern level.”

Livestock in 8 States Have Avian Flu

Scientists and healthcare providers have been studying avian flu for more than 20 years. The current strain of the virus is not new. It’s called Type A H5N1. It was first identified in 1959. Of course, it has evolved since then.

That’s the good news. But there’s much more bad news. Including the fact that the largest producer of fresh eggs in America has reported a bird flu outbreak.

And over the past several years the virus has been spreading from birds such as ducks and geese to a variety of other animals. Including skunks, bears, seals, and porpoises. Even cats and dogs. All over the world.

Bird flu has been detected in wild birds in every state. So far, the eight states that have seen bird flu in domestic livestock including dairy cows are Texas, Idaho, Kansas, and Michigan. Plus Ohio, North Carolina, New Mexico, and South Dakota.

Over Half of Infected Humans Dead

But, is bird flu really that serious of an illness? Tens of millions of chickens have died from it. Or have been killed to stop the spread of outbreaks.

And more than one-half of the nearly 900 people who have been diagnosed globally with bird flu have passed away over the past two decades.

So far, the two people in the U.S. who have contracted bird flu have not had serious health symptoms. One caught it while killing infected birds at a farm in Colorado. The other was diagnosed with the virus after having had contact with cows.

Of course, all epidemics and pandemics start slowly before ramping up. Including the coronavirus. Bird flu has been known to spread from human to human. Although not in the U.S. yet. Human symptoms can include fever and body aches – and possibly pneumonia.     

Egg, Milk, and Beef Markets Affected

There’s no way to know whether the bird flu will cause an epidemic or pandemic. Most scientists believe it will not happen.

But what is concerning to them is that it has been transmitted from one species to another, and then to humans. Some food sources need to be watched closely.

Darin Detwiler is a food safety and policy expert at Northeastern University in Boston, Massachusetts. He said, “We don’t have a magic force field, an invisible shield that protects land and water runoff from impacting other species.

“There is a concern in terms of how this might impact other markets. The egg market, the beef market.” He added that higher prices are likely due to the problem. And that the export industry could be negatively affected due to “reputational strain.”

Will Pasteurization Keep Us Safe?

So far, health officials are telling Americans there is little reason for concern. They say that “the pasteurization process and diversion or destruction of milk from sick cows” is likely to keep the U.S commercial milk supply safe.

They do add a warning, however, against drinking raw milk. Or consuming products made with it that are typically bought at farms or local stores.

Federal regulations insist that milk crossing state lines for sale must be pasteurized. Twenty states prohibit raw milk sales in some form.

But they can’t disguise the fact that bird flu is spreading across species. Chickens, cows, and now humans are being infected. And with food sources being affected, prices rise.

Does Your Nest Egg Include Survival Food?

Health experts tell us to “not be in denial” about the spread of avian flu. But they also say, “Do not panic.” Fine, I won’t panic, and I don’t suggest you do either.

But I do highly recommend preparing with a significant supply of shelf-stable food. We witnessed firsthand what a pandemic does to food industry workers, food quality and availability, and the supply chain.

And even if bird flu does not turn into another pandemic or even an epidemic, it is already affecting the quality of milk and eggs. And it’s likely to affect farmers, grocers, the food supply chain, and prices.

Having a good supply of shelf-stable food is a great idea no matter what is going on in the world. But it becomes even more important when threats such as bird flu start flapping their wings.


  • Brendan Bonner - May 12, 2024

    The election is in November

  • GERALD W BOCK - May 12, 2024

    Heads up- Major solar flares (4 in number) are hitting the Earth over this weekend. Looking at level 3 to 4 geomagnetic storms. Kill shot probability at this time is 8-10% (hopefully that will decrease). Solar storms are on the rise and since the Magnetic Field strength is dropping more gets through. Good reason to be prepared.

  • James Levenberg - May 09, 2024

    Some really great offers currently, especially the free Sidekick with purchase of a 2000X generator. I had jumped on the last offer, but would have definitely preferred the current one. Patience has never been one of my strong suits. I also feel pretty secure with the amount of survival food I have stored, but free food?! That is difficult to pass on. I still need to address clean water and probably refrigeration to some degree, and EMP bags for sure. I kind of just rambled and complained a little. I figured I give enough kudos in my everyday stuff.

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