116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
Iowa agriculture officials Tuesday confirmed two more cases of bird flu in the state, resulting in the killing of over 1.5 million birds.
The confirmed cases were in a commercial turkey flock in Hamilton County, north of Des Moines, and a commercial layer flock in Guthrie County, west of Des Moines, according to the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship.
The outbreaks were at a facility with 1.5 million laying hens in Guthrie County and a Hamilton County facility with 28,000 birds, said Chloe Carson, an agriculture spokesperson.
The new cases bring the total number of outbreaks of bird flu in Iowa to nine this year. Seven of the confirmed outbreaks are commercial flocks and two are backyard flocks.
Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig told reporters Tuesday “it is certainly a time of heightened alert.” He said there is a strong indication the virus is being carried by wild birds, which is why it’s important to separate wild birds and domestic birds.
More than 8 million birds in the state have been killed. Farms with the virus must kill and dispose of their flocks within 24 hours to prevent further spread of the highly contagious disease.
State Veterinarian Dr. Jeff Kaisand said disposal is done on the farm, even with larger outbreaks.
Naig said the state will continue to work with the U.S. Department of Agriculture and others to “quickly implement our response plans and protect the health of poultry flocks.”
“It's a difficult time for poultry producers, not just those that have an infected site,” Naig said. “It affects all poultry producers because, of course, they are on high alert, doing whatever they can to try to prevent the confirmation of the (virus) on their farms.”
The state last week canceled all live bird exhibitions until 30 days have passed without a new confirmation of an infected flock.
The virus, Kaisand said, is not an immediate risk to human health or food safety. Naig said it remains safe to eat poultry and egg products.
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