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Hundreds of birds died near Chicago due to the bird flu

Birds are perishing in mass numbers as the highly contagious avian flu continues to spread

SHARE Hundreds of birds died near Chicago due to the bird flu
A flock of young turkeys at a Mason, Iowa, farm.

A flock of young turkeys stand in a barn at the Moline family turkey farm after the Mason, Iowa farm was restocked on Aug. 10, 2015.

Charlie Neibergall, Associated Press

More than 200 birds have died after a recent outbreak outside of the greater Chicago area, according to authorities.

Driving the news: The Forest Preserves of Cook County said in a statement that there were hundreds of bird deaths outside Baker’s Lake forest preserve.

  • The preserve said more testing will be needed to determine the full extent of the outbreak.
  • Authorities at the preserve said that close to 200 birds had died in the past week from the outbreak there.

What they’re saying: “I’ve never seen anything like this since I started working here 41 years ago,” said Chris Anchor, of the Forest Preserve District of Cook County, per The Chicago Tribune. “Chances are this is happening in other places, and we’re not aware of it because no one is looking.”

The bigger picture: Since February, there have been multiple avian flu outbreaks across the country, affecting close to 23 million commercial bird flocks, per The Chicago Tribune.

  • Waterfowl in both Maryland and Virginia tested positive for the bird flu in February, which prompted investigations about how far the bird flu was spreading, per The Washington Post.
  • Kentucky and Virginia experienced outbreaks, as I wrote for the Deseret News. Officials confirmed more bird flu cases in Indiana, too, per Reuters.
  • The United States Department of Agriculture later confirmed new cases of the bird flu in a Kansas flock and an Illinois flock in March.