Federal officials said Wednesday that an outbreak of bird flu was detected in a flock of ducks and chickens in a backyard in western Iowa, a worrying development for a state It is home to the largest number of egg-laying hens in the country.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture said it has confirmed highly pathogenic avian influenza occurring in flocks of fewer than 50 birds in Pattawattamie County. State officials quarantined the affected site and the birds were killed and incinerated to prevent the spread of the disease.
Iowa Agriculture Secretary Mike Naig said that since it is a small non-commercial herd, there would be no trade or supply chain issues.
“This virus seems to be very common in wild birds, so the next few months during the northern migration on the Mississippi flyby will be a time of high alert for all birds,” he said. poultry owners,” he said.
Cases have been detected in flocks across the country over the past month.
The first infection was identified in a commercial turkey flock in Indiana on February 9. Since then, five more flocks have been found with cases in Indiana, where more than 171,000 birds have been slaughtered. and remove. The virus was also detected in a flock of turkeys and broilers in Kentucky last month, resulting in the culling and disposal of more than 284,000 birds. According to the USDA, a commercial flock of chickens in Delaware was also infected, resulting in the culling of 1.2 million birds.
A noncommercial backyard case was also identified Wednesday in Connecticut. Similar cases have been found in backyard flocks in recent days in Michigan, Maine, New York and Virginia.
The discovery of avian flu was particularly troubling in Iowa, the nation’s top egg producer. In 2015, an outbreak caused producers to kill 33 million hens in the state and 9 million birds in Minnesota, the nation’s top turkey producer. Smaller outbreaks have been reported in Nebraska, South Dakota and Wisconsin.
Avian flu is an airborne respiratory virus that spreads easily to chickens through nose and eye secretions, as well as feces. The virus can be spread from flock to flock by wild birds, through contact with infected poultry, through equipment, and on caregivers’ clothing and footwear.
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says the recent bird flu findings do not raise immediate public health concerns. No human cases of this avian influenza virus have been detected in the United States. Although it can be transmitted to humans, it is unusual and is usually caused by close contact with infected birds.
https://nypost.com/2022/03/02/bird-flu-found-in-iowa-home-to-most-egg-laying-hens-in-us/ Bird flu found in Iowa, home to most of the hens that lay eggs in the US