TikTok famed emu Emmanuel has bird flu after deadly Florida farm outbreak : NPR

Taylor Blake helps Emmanuel with physical therapy in a homemade sling.

@hiitaylorblake/Screenshot by NPR

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@hiitaylorblake/Screenshot by NPR

Taylor Blake helps Emmanuel with physical therapy in a homemade sling.

@hiitaylorblake/Screenshot by NPR

Emmanuel, a much-loved emu who went viral on TikTok, is in dire straits from bird flu.

Taylor Blake’s family farm in South Florida, Knuckle Bump Farms, has lost more than 50 birds in just three days, Blake wrote on Twitter on Saturday. Only two birds survived.

“I’m still trying to get my head around it,” Blake wrote. “We thought we were out of the woods when Emmanuel went down unexpectedly last Wednesday.”

Emmanuel became a viral sensation for his behavior interrupting Blake’s TikTok videos and attacking the phone while Blake was filming.

Blake is looking for an avian specialist who can treat Emmanuel, who has suffered nerve damage in his right leg and foot, according to the Twitter thread. In the meantime, Blake posted a photo on Twitter of helping Emmanuel start physical therapy using a homemade sling.

The H5N1 bird flu has killed more than 45 million birds in the US since an outbreak began in February, according to the Department of Agriculture.

Scientists believe that wild migratory birds brought the virus to North America at the beginning of the year and spread the virus to more than 40 wild bird species. While chickens and turkeys with the virus die quickly, some waterfowl with the virus can stay healthy and carry them long distances.

The flu strain has historically posed almost no risk to humans, but public experts remain concerned about the possibility it could jump species.

“Since humans have no previous immunity to these viruses, if they were infected and spread the virus to other people, we could have another pandemic virus on our hands,” said Todd Davis, an animal expert. -on-human diseases. at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), NPR told earlier this year.

The UK is also dealing with an outbreak of bird flu – the largest on record – and declared an aviation influenza prevention zone on Monday, requiring bird keepers in Britain to follow strict biosecurity measures. Bird keepers in Britain will have to keep stray birds within fenced areas and keep domestic ducks and geese separate from other poultry. Goalkeepers will also need to regularly clean and disinfect their footwear.

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