Heat Can Quickly Inactivate Bird Flu Virus

US - The avian influenza virus can be relatively quickly inactivated by heat, shows emergency research funded after the devastating bird flu outbreaks across the US in 2015.
calendar icon 13 October 2016
clock icon 2 minute read

Dr Erica Spackman, of USDA ARS, investigated various time and temperature profiles to effectively inactivate the avian influenza virus in poultry litter.

During an outbreak a great deal of time and effort goes into attempting to inactivate avian influenza virus in a contaminated facility using cleaning and disinfection. Cleaning and disinfection have focused on removal of all organic material and require extensive labour and costs. Heat is a good alternative to complete removal of organic material and the research report said it could also improve safety for individuals involved in recovery at infected premises.

Dr Spackman established the parameters required to achieve inactivation of the virus. At lower temperatures inactivation times were longer, so the research recommended that in an outbreak situation, a poultry house should be heated to the highest temperature that is practical and for the longest time that is practical. The temperature of the litter should be monitored throughout the process to verify treatment.

This is important information that can be used in future outbreaks to more quickly eliminate the virus from inside contaminated facilities.

Dr Spackman was funded by the US Poultry and Egg Association, which gave $550,000 in emergency funding in October 2015.

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