Four Additional Farms Could Be Bird Flu Carriers, Say Iowa Officials

Four Additional Farms Could Be Bird Flu Carriers, Say Iowa OfficialsAnother four potential cases of bird flu were confirmed Monday by the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship, bringing the number of Iowa poultry farms possibly affected by the highly pathogenic disease from 21 to 25 since the outbreak started on April 14.

Wright County in north-central Iowa had reported its first confirmed case, a commercial poultry farm with about 2.8 million hens. Buena Vista County, which had previously reported several bird flu cases, reported its seventh and eighth. These were both turkey farms, neither of which having an estimated number of birds. Lastly, Cherokee County had its second case, a turkey farm with the number of birds also unknown as of this writing.

With bird flu affecting close to one-thirds of all chickens in Iowa, Governor Terry Branstad announced a state of emergency, allowing use of the state’s resources whenever applicable. All of the 25 affected farms are currently quarantined, and all birds affected by the disease will be euthanized and disposed of hygienically, officials said.

No humans have been diagnosed as having been infected by the bird flu strain, and officials noted that there is no food consumption risk for consumers. Iowa health officials said that humans are at a low risk of being infected.