116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
Two more cases of the bird flu were confirmed Sunday in commercial flocks in Western Iowa, bringing to 14 the number of outbreaks so far this year in Iowa.
The Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship said one case struck a commercial turkey operation in Sac County and one struck a commercial breeding chicken operation in Humboldt County. The department said anther 37,000 turkeys and 15,000 chickens will be killed as a result. As of Friday, the state said the number of birds lost to the disease so far was about 13 million.
State experts say the virus is primarily being spread this time by wild fowl, particularly geese and ducks. That accounts for why this year’s outbreak is occurring weeks earlier than did a devastating outbreak in 2015, when 34 million turkeys and chickens died or were euthanized in Iowa, causing an estimated $427 million in lost revenue to producers.
Of this year’s outbreaks, which began in March, 12 have been in commercial flocks — six each of turkey and chicken flocks — and two residential flocks. All the outbreaks so far have been west of Des Moines, including four in Buena Vista County alone.
No human cases of bird flu have been detected in the United States. It remains safe to eat cooked poultry products.