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Image: MVolodymyr (Shutterstock) Avian flu is back in the news following an outbreak in the Midwest and Northeast, and the subsequent euthanizing or death of over 21 million birds since February. Lately, it has been reported that the bird flu is now being blamed for an increase in the cost of turkey and eggs. Hefty grocery bills (amid the ongoing supply chain crisis and rising inflation, no less) are concerning enough, but you may be wondering how worried you should be about avian flu for other reasons. Here’s what you need to know. What is avian flu? Per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, avian influenza is the disease caused by infection with bird flu Type A viruses, but that isn’t exactly helpful to the average reader. The CDC goes on to note that these viruses naturally spread among wild aquatic birds all over the world, and can affect poultry and other kinds of birds and animals. These Type A viruses have been isolated from over 100 different species of wild birds worldwide, including: Ducks Geese Swans Gulls Terns Storks Plovers Sandpipers According to the CDC, wild aquatic birds—especially dabbling ducks—are considered hosts for the Type A viruses. They can be infected in their intestines and respiratory tracts, though some species may not get sick. Infected birds can shed the viruses in saliva, nasal secretions, and feces. These viruses are very contagious among birds and some of them can sicken or kill certain domesticated bird species, including chickens, […]