DES MOINES, Iowa — The Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship and the USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service have confirmed two positive cases of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) in Iowa. The confirmed cases were in a commercial turkey flock in Hamilton County, Iowa, a commercial layer flock in Guthrie County, Iowa, and a commercial turkey flock in Buena Vista County, Iowa.
Flock owners should prevent contact between their birds and wild birds and report sick birds or unusual deaths to state/federal officials. Biosecurity resources and best practices are available at www.iowaagriculture.gov/biosecurity.
If producers suspect signs of HPAI in their flocks, they should contact their veterinarian immediately. Possible cases should also be reported to the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship at 515-281-5305.
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the recent HPAI detections in birds do not present an immediate public health concern. No human cases of these avian influenza viruses have been detected in the United States. It remains safe to eat poultry products. As a reminder, the proper handling and cooking of poultry and eggs to an internal temperature of 165 degrees F kills bacteria and viruses.
HPAI is highly contagious, viral disease affecting bird populations. HPAI can travel in wild birds without those birds appearing sick, but is often fatal to domestic bird populations, including chickens and turkeys. The virus can spread through droppings or nasal discharge of an infected bird, which can contaminate dust and soil.
Signs of HPAI include:
- Sudden increase in bird deaths without any clinical signs
- Lack of energy and appetite
- Decrease in egg production
- Soft- or thin-shelled or misshapen eggs
- Swelling of the head, eyelids, comb, wattles, and hocks
- Purple/blue discoloration of the wattles, comb, and legs
- Gasping for air (difficulty breathing)
- Coughing, sneezing, and/or nasal discharge (runny nose)
- Stumbling or falling down
For updates on this developing situation, please visit iowaagriculture.gov/animal-industry-bureau/avian-influenza.