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Birds, Welcome Back: Avian Flu Threat Lifted

  Birds from out of state are once again welcome within Illinois' borders. They'd been banned from fairs and exhibitions.

If you noticed the price of eggs going up this summer - there's a reason. Several states' bird populations were hit -- hard -- by avian flu. Wild birds, captive ones, and commercial and backyard poultry. But no cases were detected in Illinois.

Agriculture officials here reacted by trying to keep visiting birds, like chickens, out of places like the Illinois State Fair.

It's similar to the embargo on firewood from out-of-state; you're not supposed to bring that across state borders in an attempt to prevent the spread of the tree-killing Emerald Ash Borer.

Back to the birds: The squawking over the highly pathogenic flu is over; no cases of the disease have been reported since mid-June. So Illinois has lifted its ban.

In a statement, Dept. of Agriculture Director Philip Nelson says his agency will continue to work with the federal government and other states' ag departments to monitor the avian disease.

According to census data, Illinois has nearly 4,000 poultry farms that house more than 4.3 million birds.

A health note: this bird flu outbreak is not a high risk to people; no human cases have been detected.

Amanda Vinicky moved to Chicago Tonight on WTTW-TV PBS in 2017.
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