Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza Confirmed In Buena Vista County

Buena Vista County Iowa — A commercial turkey flock in Buena Vista county has a confirmed positive case of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI), according to the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship and the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).

The state ag department says thath for the 6th time in less than a year, Buena Vista county has had HAPI detection, the first of which was on March 6th, 2022. Buena Vista county isn’t the only county in the area that has had HPAI detections this past year, as on March 31 of last year, both Osceola and Cherokee counties had HPAI detections in Commercial Layer Chickens in Osceola county, and Commercial Turkey in Cherokee county.

They tell us HPAI is a highly contagious viral disease that affects bird populations, and can travel in wild birds, even without the birds appearing to be sick. It is often fatal to domestic bird populations, however, including chickens and turkeys. The virus is often found on dust and soil that had been contaminated by droppings or nasal discharge of an infected bird. Although wild birds sometimes do not appear sick, signs of a HPAI infection in a bird flock may include, sudden increase in bird deaths without any clinical signs, lethargy or lack of energy and appetite, decreasing egg production, soft, thin-shelled and/or misshapen eggs, swelling of head, eyelids, comb, wattles, and hocks. It can also be spotted by purple or blue discoloration of wattles, comb, and legs, difficulty breathing, coughing, sneezing, and/or runny nose, stumbling, and diarrhea.

The Iowa Department of Agriculture says flock owners should prevent contact between their birds and wild birds. Any noticed sick birds, or unusual, unexplained deaths among the birds should be reported immediately to state or federal officials. Producers should contact their veterinarian immediately if they suspect signs of HPAI in their flocks. In addition, all possible cases of HPAI must be reported to the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship at 515-281-5305.

According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the HPAI detections in the birds does not present a public health concern at this time. They state that it is still safe to eat poultry products, so long as proper handling and cooking of eggs and poultry products is adhered to, including cooking to an internal temperature of at least 165° Fahrenheit to kill off bacteria and viruses.





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