Animals slaughtered and restrictions introduced in response to outbreaks of the virus in a number of countries
Several outbreaks of severe bird flu in Europe and Asia have been reported in recent days to the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE), in a sign the virus is spreading quickly again.
The spread of highly pathogenic avian influenza, commonly called bird flu, has put the poultry industry on alert after previous outbreaks led to the culling of tens of millions of birds.
Continue reading at The Guardian
Bird mites as a transmission vector
Red mite facilitate the transmission of bird flu and other avian diseases, because they drink blood from their hosts. Just like mosquitos can carry malaria from human to human, red mites become carriers once they have taken infected blood. For free-range keepings, wild birds can also play a role. They may pick up bedding material from an infested coop and unwittingly pick up a few mites themselves. This spreads the disease even further and makes it harder to control.
So apart from physical biosecurity around the farm, mite control is an important measure for fighting bird flu and other avaian diseases. Successful red mite control not only serves to keep any mite infestation itself in check, it will also slow disease transmission within and outside of the flock.