Avian flu growing in NW Iowa
DES MOINES (IDALS) – The Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship said Monday it was responding to four more probable cases of highly pathogenic avian influenza in commercial poultry farms in Osceola, O’Brien and Sioux counties.
These four new cases would join three confirmed Iowa cases.
State officials have quarantined the premises and if the initial test are confirmed, all birds on the property will be humanely euthanized to prevent the spread of the disease.
The cases being investigated are:
- Osceola County: A pullet farm with an estimated 250,000 birds. Initial testing showed it positive for H5 avian influenza. Additional confirmatory testing is pending from the APHIS National Veterinary Services Laboratories in Ames.
- O’Brien County: A commercial laying operation with an estimated 240,000 birds that has experienced increased mortality.
- O’Brien County: A commercial laying operation with an estimated 98,000 birds that has experienced increased mortality. Initial testing showed it positive for H5 avian influenza. Additional confirmatory testing is pending from NVSL in Ames.
- Sioux County: A commercial laying operation with an estimated 1.7 million birds that has experienced increased mortality. Initial testing showed it positive for H5 avian influenza. Additional confirmatory testing is pending from NVSL in Ames.
The Center for Disease Control and Iowa Department of Public Health considers the risk to people from these HPAI H5 infections in wild birds, backyard flocks and commercial poultry, to be low.
No human infections with the virus have ever been detected there is no food safety risk for consumers.
The U.S. has the strongest avian influenza surveillance program in the world. As part of the existing USDA avian influenza response plans, federal and state partners, as well as industry, are responding quickly and decisively to these outbreaks with a five-step response. These are:
- Quarantine – restricting movement of poultry and poultry-moving equipment into and out of the control area.
- Eradicate – humanely euthanizing the affected flock or flocks.
- Monitor region – testing wild and domestic birds in a broad area around the quarantine area.
- Disinfect – kills the virus in the affected flock locations.
- Test – confirm that poultry farms in the area are free of the virus.
IDALS and IDPH are working directly with poultry workers at the affected facility to ensure proper precautions are being taken.
These virus strains can travel in wild birds without those birds appearing sick. People should avoid contact with sick or dead poultry or wildlife.
If contact occurs, wash your hands with soap and water and change clothing before having any contact with healthy domestic poultry and birds.
All bird owners, whether commercial producers or backyard flock owners, should continue to practice biosecurity, prevent contact between their birds and wild birds, and report sick birds or unusual bird deaths to state and federal officials, either through the state veterinarian at (515) 281-5321 or through USDA’s toll-free number at (866) 536-7593.
Information is posted to the IDALS’ website at www.iowaagriculture.gov/avianinfluenza.asp.
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