Migration

Iowa reports first bird flu cases since May with fall migration here

  • Bird flu is back in Iowa after being detected in a Dallas County backyard flock
  • State officials say they believe the disease spread through the fall migration of wild birds
  • It’s a big threat to Iowa because the state is the largest producer of eggs and the seventh largest producer of turkeys.
  • Outbreaks last spring resulted in the destruction of nearly 13.4 million birds statewide

The fall migration of wild birds has sparked a new wave of bird flu in Iowa, hitting a domestic flock in central Iowa, state officials said.

The Iowa Department of Agriculture said a backyard flock with 48 birds in Dallas County tested positive for highly pathogenic avian influenza. It was the first reported outbreak in Iowa since May 2 of this highly contagious, deadly bird disease.

“It’s no surprise that we face additional challenges from highly pathogenic avian influenza in Iowa given that fall migration is underway and many other states have recently announced confirmed cases,” the official said. Iowa Agriculture Secretary Mike Naig in a statement.

Previously:With bird flu infections declining, Iowa poultry producers and officials hope the outbreak is over

The return of bird flu is particularly worrying in Iowa, the nation’s largest egg producer and seventh-largest turkey producer.

Last spring, commercial and home poultry producers in Iowa were forced to destroy nearly 13.4 million chickens, turkeys and other birds to prevent the spread of the deadly virus, according to data from the US Department of Health. Agriculture. Fifteen commercial herds and four backyard herds tested positive.

Wild birds can carry bird flu without appearing sick. The virus can spread to domestic flocks from bird droppings.

State and federal agencies have said that none of the birds or poultry products from flocks where bird flu is detected will reach US food supplies. No human cases of highly pathogenic avian influenza have been detected in the United States.

After:The macabre question of bird flu: how to kill millions of chickens and turkeys to prevent the spread of the virus

The state is working with the agriculture department, poultry producers and other industry leaders to prevent the spread of the virus. Iowans raising backyard and commercial flocks are urged to watch closely for signs of disease and prevent contact between their birds and wild birds.

“Strengthened biosecurity remains the best line of defense to protect animal health,” Naig said.

Donnelle Eller covers agriculture, environment and energy for the Register. Contact her at [email protected] or 515-284-8457.