Bird flu virus found in 6 US states

The US department of Agriculture has confirmed a deadly outbreak of the bird flu virus at another Iowa farm.

The highly infectious disease was confirmed on Monday in a farm in Osceloa Country where nearly 10 percent of the state’s egg-laying hens come from.

The farm is home to approximately 59 million hens. The Department of Agriculture has determined that about 5.3 million of them will need to be destroyed.

Since March, several Midwestern states have also been affected by the outbreak causing almost 7.8 million chickens and turkeys to be destroyed.

The bird flu virus was initially discovered in March in Minnesota, the country’s top turkey-producing state. Since then the H5N2 virus has been found on numerous commercial farms in six states including Missouri, Arkansas, North Dakota, South Dakota, Wisconsin and Iowa.

On Monday, the virus was also confirmed at another turkey farm in Minnesota and a flock of mixed birds at a Wisconsin back yard.

Iowa Poultry Association Executive Director, Randy Olson, says he is confident that authorities have found the extent of the outbreak and have a successful plan to control it.

The Osceola County farm is the first chicken farm in Iowa to be affected, but is the second bird farm to be infected. Last week, a turkey farm in Iowa tested positive for the virus.

The Osceola County farm provides shell eggs and liquid egg products to the market.

Olson says, “It may not have a direct effect on shell egg pricing but any time you take production out of a marketplace there’s likely to be some consequence.

“I anticipate the market and production will recover, but right now we’re reminding people that this is not a food safety issue and it’s not a human health issue.”

The Iowa Department of Public Health and Center for Disease Control considers the risk of the infected birds to people to be low. No human infections of the virus have ever been recorded.

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