Des Moines, Iowa — A strain of bird flu that can easily cause illness in birds has been found in northwest Iowa.
The United States Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service has confirmed the presence of highly pathogenic H5N2 avian influenza in a commercial turkey flock in Buena Vista County. This is the first confirmation in a commercial flock in Iowa. The flock of 27,000 turkeys is located within the Mississippi flyway where this strain of avian influenza has previously been identified.
The Center for Disease Control (CDC) considers the risk to people from these H5 infections in wild birds, backyard flocks and commercial poultry, to be low. No human infections with the virus have been detected at this time.
Samples from the turkey flock, which experienced increased mortality, were tested at the Iowa State University Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory and the National Veterinary Services Laboratories in Ames confirmed the findings.
APHIS is working closely with the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship (IDALS) on a joint incident response. State officials quarantined the premises and birds on the property will be depopulated to prevent the spread of the disease. Birds from the flock will not enter the food system.
The Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship is working directly with poultry workers at the affected facility to ensure that they are taking the proper precautions.
More information from the Iowa Department of Agriculture:
These virus strains can travel in wild birds without those birds appearing sick. People should avoid contact with sick/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 good biosecurity, prevent contact between their birds and wild birds, and report sick birds or unusual bird deaths to state/federal officials, either through their state veterinarian at 515-281-5321 or through USDA’s toll-free number at 1-866-536-7593. Additional information on biosecurity for backyard flocks can be found at http://healthybirds.aphis.
For more information about the ongoing avian influenza disease incidents visit the APHIS website. More information about avian influenza can be found on the USDA avian influenza page. More information about avian influenza and public health is available on the CDC website. Information will also be posted to the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship’s website at www.iowaagriculture.gov/
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