Bird flu carcases remain infectious

Poultry carcases infected with the bird flu virus can remain infectious in municipal landfills for up to two years, according to US researchers.

Hundreds of millions of chickens and ducks infected with bird flu have died or been killed worldwide in an effort to control the spread of the disease, but the safety of landfill disposal has received little attention, said the Nebraska researchers who conducted the study. They found that the bird flu virus can survive in landfill leachate – liquid that drains from a landfill – for at least 30 days and up to two years.

Factors that most reduced the virus’ survival times were elevated temperatures and acidic or alkaline pH.

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