Another confirmed case of avian influenza (bird flu) has been found in Iowa. An egg-laying farm in Buena Vista County with about 5.3 million chickens has confirmed cases of bird flu, meaning they will all have to be eradicated to stop the spread of the virus.
In a story from CBS2, this is the second case that has been found in Buena Vista County. The first case had to eliminate over 500,000 chickens, a tenth of the amount at this facility. With this confirmation from the state Department of Agriculture, over 12 million chickens and turkeys will have to be destroyed in at least 8 states.
How is it spreading? Wild birds such as ducks and geese that are infected leave droppings and nasal discharge contaminate dust and soil and that can get transferred to the farms in the same way.
A flock of 42 ducks and geese in Pottawattamie County in western Iowa was the first case, found on March 1st. Then, in Taylor County in southwest Iowa, an egg-laying farm of over 900,000 chickens was confirmed to have the virus on March 10th.
The CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) says that the cases of avian influenza have no immediate health concern for humans as there have been no known cases of bird flu in humans detected in the United States. You may still eat eggs and chicken but must as always, cook poultry to its required temperature of 165 F in the deepest, thickest part of the meat to kill bacteria and viruses.
Another case of the virus spreading was just found on Sunday, March 20th in Warren County. This was a non-commercial backyard flock. The U.S. CDC reminds owners of these flocks to pay attention to sick and dead birds on their property. Also, if possible, keep your flock from interacting with wild birds that are known to carry the virus and leave droppings and other secretions that may infect your birds.