Bird Flu Reportedly Found in Iowa, Home to Most of U.S. Egg-Laying Hens

Less than a month after bird flu was discovered in Indiana, it has been reported that the illness has been discovered in Iowa. The Hawkeye State state is notably home to most egg-laying hens in the U.S. 

According to the New York Post, bird flu was detected in a backyard flock of ducks and chickens in western Iowa. The U.S. Department of Agriculture reportedly confirmed highly pathogenic avian influenza in the flock which had fewer than 50 birds in Pottawattamie County. 

Iowa state officials quarantine the affected location. The birds were killed and incinerated. These actions are to prevent the spread of the bird flu. Iowa Secretary of Agriculture, Mike Naig, stated that since it was a small non-commercial flock, there will be no resulting trade or supply chain issues. “The virus does appear to be very prevalent in wild birds. So the next few months during the northern migration in the Mississippi flyway will be a time of high alert for all poultry.”

The New York Post also reports there have been cases of bird flu across the nation. The first infection was in a commercial flock of turkeys in Indiana on February 9th. Since the discovery, five more flocks had the virus in the Hoosier State. 

Meanwhile, officials detected bird flu in a flock of turkeys and broiler chickens in Kentucky. The discovery resulted in the destruction and disposal of more than 284,000 birds. The U.S. Department of Agriculture also states that a commercial chicken flock in Delaware had the virus. The detection resulted in the disposal of 1.2 million birds. 

Other states seeing detections of bird flu include Michigan, Maine, North Carolina, New York, Virginia, and Connecticut. 

Detection of Bird Flu Prompts the Closure of North Carolina Zoo’s Aviary

In January, the North Carolina Zoo had to close its aviary to the public following an outbreak of bird flu in the state. In a statement by the officials, the zoo decided to take precautionary measures in order to prevent the spread of the virus. 

Speaking about the closure, the zoo’s Director of Animal Health, Dr. Jb Minter, stated, “Closing the Aviary is a preventive, precautionary measure. To protect all our bird species at the Zoo. As the disease can spread very quickly and is often fatal to them. The disease has so far only been found in a very few wild birds in North and South Carolina.”

The Zoo did note that none of the birds in its facilities were showing any clinical signs of bird flu. The zoo did increase biosecurity for its safe as well. This includes restricting only certain teams to work with the zoo’s birds. There have not been any human infections in the U.S.