Bird flu found in fourth Buena Vista facility
A turkey flock in Buena Vista County is the 10th to be infected by highly pathogenic avian influenza in Iowa this year. (Photo by Scott Bauer/Agriculture Research Service, USDA)
A deadly and highly contagious avian influenza was found in a commercial flock of about 35,500 turkeys in Buena Vista County, the fourth such detection in that county, the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship said Wednesday.
The rate of detection of the virus in Iowa has accelerated. So far there have been 10 in about a month, and half of them happened in the past week.
Buena Vista is the only county with multiple outbreaks so far, and its birds account for the vast majority that have been culled in Iowa this year because of the virus. Of the more than 8.1 million birds affected, about 5.5 million were in that county.
There’s no evidence that the latest infection was the result of virus transmission from one of the other affected flocks, said Chloe Carson, an IDALS spokesperson. Preventing those site-to-site transmissions is a priority for state officials who are working to detect and contain the virus. Infected flocks are culled as quickly as possible after detections, and their carcasses are typically buried or composted on site.
Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig said Tuesday that infections might become more frequent as infected birds continue to migrate through the state. He said it’s possible the migration will last for two more months.
The virus is unlikely to infect humans. Eggs and meat from infected birds are destroyed.
The detections so far in Iowa this year include:
— March 1: A backyard flock of 42 chickens and ducks in Pottawattamie County.
— March 6: A commercial flock of about 50,000 turkeys in Buena Vista County.
— March 10: A commercial flock of about 916,000 egg-laying chickens in Taylor County.
— March 17: A commercial flock of about 5.3 million egg-laying chickens in Buena Vista County.
— March 20: A backyard flock of 11 chickens and ducks in Warren County.
— March 23: A commercial flock of about 54,000 turkeys in Buena Vista County.
— March 25: A commercial flock of about 250,000 young hens in Franklin County.
— March 28: A commercial flock of about 28,000 turkeys in Hamilton County.
— March 28: A commercial flock of about 1.5 million egg-laying chickens in Guthrie County.
— March 29: A commercial flock of about 35,500 turkeys in Buena Vista County.
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