Local Mainers, Charly and her husband Jack had 25 chickens of whom they loved very much. They all had names and gave them joy each and every day.

According to an article by The Bangor Baily News, our state has been put on high alert due to the Avian Bird Flu.

If you haven't heard of this strain if influenza, according to The CDC,

"Avian influenza refers to the disease caused by infection with avian (bird) influenza (flu) Type A viruses. These viruses occur naturally among wild aquatic birds worldwide and can infect domestic poultry and other bird and animal species. Avian flu viruses do not normally infect humans. However, sporadic human infections with avian flu viruses have occurred."

CDC.gov

Now that we are aware of what this highly pathogenic virus is, we've also learned that this is the first time that the H5N1 Virus has been confirmed in the state of Maine.

Last Monday, when Charly went to visit the coop she saw that one of her family pet chickens named, Salt, had sadly passed away. The couple was sad but not too worried at that point.

However, after finding two more birds in the course of the next two days, they became understandably nervous.

Three chickens were dead and they had to find out what was going on in their backyard in Cushing, Maine. They reached out to their Veterinarian and it was requested that the couple bring in one of the dead chickens to be tested.

This is when the virus was found. Unfortunately, because of this virus they had to make a tough decision and that was to eliminate their flock all together.

In total, 15 birds were euthanized. They reported this to the State and began to start raising awareness to others about the spread of this virus on their farm.

The couple commented on how there Vet handled the unfortunate situation saying,

"They were compassionate. They were humane. They were very, very, understanding of the fact that these were our pets,"

-Charly Haversat

The couple also shared the love and care they had with their chickens. They said that when they were to visit the coop that they knew, "they day was going to start with a little snippet of joy,"

They loved their animals, that is very evident.

The symptoms that were found in their chickens before they passed of this virus was sleepiness and lethargy. Normally after 12 hours the birds would die.

According to the article, other symptoms may include, "swollen heads, blue coloration of combs and wattles, lack of appetite, respiratory distress and diarrhea with a significant drop in egg production."

Sadly even if some of the chickens didn't have symptoms they still needed to be put down because it's extremely contagious.

As stated before, they wanted to share this news with the community to alert people so they posted on Facebook and some of the comments were upsetting. Some thought this was a government ploy, fake news, or something to make fun of. It saddened the couple to see this because they say, it isn't a joke.

"If we're not willing to work together, we're not going to be able to fix this." she said. "I think the art that really is frustrating is that people aren't taking this seriously. This could wipe out the poultry industry in the United States."

-Charly Harversat

Please visit, the CDC.gov for more information on the Avian Influenza or contact The Department of Agriculture, Conservation & Forestry

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