Probable bird flu cases reported in 4 Iowa counties

Probable contagious bird flu in Iowa | Courtesy of extension.org
Four potential cases of highly contagious avian influenza have been detected in Iowa’s Cherokee, Pocahontas, Sac, and Madison counties, the Iowa Department of Agriculture said Friday. 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said the virus is not a threat to humans. Experts report that the virus could still devastate the poultry industry.

The new cases are in addition to 17 previous avian influenza cases. The Iowa facilities have been quarantined until the cases are confirmed. If the poultry tests positive for avian influenza, all of the birds located at the facilities will be euthanized to contain the disease.

Three of the cases, located in Sac 2, Cherokee, and Pocahontas, involve turkey farms. These farms have reported increased mortality rates among their flocks. Initial tests returned positive results for the H5 strain of avian influenza. Additional testing by the U.S. Department of Agriculture Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service's National Veterinary Services Laboratories (NVSL) is required before the cases can be confirmed.

The case in Madison County involves a commercial laying operation that has approximately 1 million birds. The facility has also reported increased mortality rates. Initial testing showed positive results for the H5 strain of avian influenza. This case is awaiting additional testing from the NVSL.

Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad and Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey recently held a news conference about the state’s efforts to neutralize the threat of avian influenza. 

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U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention 1600 Clifton Rd Atlanta, GA - 30329

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