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FIVE CONFIRMED CASES OF HIGHLY PATHOGENIC AVIAN INFLUENZA CONFIRMED IN OSCEOLA, O’BRIEN AND SIOUX COUNTIES

Northwest Iowa — According to the Iowa Department of Agriculture, the five possible cases of avian influenza reported on Monday afternoon — have been confirmed.

The agency’s web site says that the cases of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) in commercial poultry farms in Osceola, O’Brien and Sioux Counties in Northwest Iowa are now confirmed.  These five new cases join three cases of the disease in Iowa. All birds on the properties will be humanely euthanized to prevent the spread of the disease.
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Osceola County 2 – Pullet farm with an estimated 250,000 birds.

O’Brien County 1 – Commercial laying operation with an estimated 240,000 birds that has experienced increased mortality.

O’Brien County 2 – Commercial laying operation with an estimated 98,000 birds that has experienced increased mortality.

Sioux County 1 – Commercial laying operation with an estimated 1.7 million birds that has experienced increased mortality.

Sioux County 2 – Commercial laying operation with an estimated 3.8 million birds that has experienced increased mortality.

The Center for Disease Control (CDC) 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 United States has the strongest Avian Influenza (AI) 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 by following these five basic steps: 1) Quarantine – restricting movement of poultry and poultry-moving equipment into and out of the control area; 2) Eradicate – humanely euthanizing the affected flock(s); 3) Monitor region – testing wild and domestic birds in a broad area around the quarantine area; 4)  Disinfect – kills the virus in the affected flock locations; and 5) Test – confirm that poultry farms in the area are free of the virus.

The Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship in partnership with the Iowa Department of Public Health are working directly with poultry workers at the affected facilities 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/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.

Information will also be posted to the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship’s website at www.iowaagriculture.gov/avianinfluenza.asp.

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