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Bird Flu: Iowa Announces 5 More Presumptive Cases

Iowa has another five probable cases of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) on the table in commercial poultry farms in Osceola, O’Brien, and Sioux Counties in northwest Iowa, says Bill Northey, the Iowa Secretary of Agriculture. 

Iowa confirmed its first case of the H5N2 strain of HPAI two weeks ago on a turkey farm. A week later a layer farm housing 3.8 million birds confirmed the virus, which was the largest contamination to date. 

Today, Northey announced the five probable cases that were quarantined over the weekend and are awaiting confirmation of HPAI. 

  • Pullet (young layers) farm with approximately 250,000 birds initially tested positive for H5 avian influenza.
  • Two laying operations in O’Brien County with 240,000 and 98,000 birds have both experienced increased mortality.
  • A 1.7 million-layer operation in Sioux County reported increased mortality and initially tested positive for HPAI.
  • Another Sioux County operation with an estimated 3.7 million layers turned in a presumptive positive Monday afternoon.
  • Total = 9.5 million layers confirmed or presumptive positive plus 250,000 pullets.

The process

The USDA’s APHIS response plan requires a cooperative partnership between the producers, federal, and state agencies to depopulate the facilities and halt any spread of the virus. The plan follows five steps: quarantining birds and equipment, humanely euthanizing the affected flock(s), monitoring area wild and domestic birds for signs of HPAI, disinfecting facilities, and testing those facilities after depopulation to confirm the virus has been eradicated.

APHIS continues to determine the value of birds and provide indemnity to producers devastated by the flock – an immense $60 million since December. 

Low risk to humans

The Center for Disease Control continues to stress that the H5N2 strain of HPAI has shown no risk to humans either through direct contact or consumption. Consumers have the power to make sure they are safe with thorough cooking. 

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