As Thanksgiving approaches, finding a turkey the right size for your household at a good price could be challenging. On top of inflation that has driven up grocery prices across the board, a nationwide outbreak of avian influenza, also known as bird flu, has led to the culling of more than 50 million turkeys and chickens this year in the U.S.

Holiday dinners aren’t the only concern, as Iowa State University veterinary scientist Yuko Sato explains. While bird flu poses low risk to humans overall – only one person has tested positive for it in the U.S. during this outbreak – the virus is widely present in the wild birds that transmit it. So hunters need to take special precautions in handling game. And the disease can spill over to mammals, so no one should approach an animal that’s acting ill. This outbreak is the latest evidence that human well-being is bound up in all kinds of ways with that of animals.

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Jennifer Weeks

Senior Environment + Energy Editor

Healthy turkeys on a farm in West Newfield, Maine. Shawn Patrick Ouellette/Portland Press Herald via Getty Images

Bird flu has made a comeback, driving up prices for holiday turkeys

Yuko Sato, Iowa State University

Hunters are warned to take precautions handling wild birds, and the virus can spill over to non-avian species, so no one should approach wild animals that are appear ill.

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