HPAI reported in Taylor County chicken flock
On Friday, March 10, officials with the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship and the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) have confirmed a positive case of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) in Taylor County.
The virus was found in a flock of commercial layer chickens.
“While this additional case of HPAI is not unexpected, we have prepared for this and are working closely with USDA and livestock producers to control and eradicate this disease from our state,” said Secretary Naig. “This is a difficult time for poultry producers. We will continue to support them and emphasize the need for strict biosecurity on farms and around poultry to help prevent the spread of this disease.”
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 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 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 ˚F kills bacteria and viruses.
A commercial turkey flock in Buena Vista county and a backyard mixed species flock in Pottawattamie County were identified earlier this month.
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 https://iowaagriculture.gov/animal-industry-bureau/avian-influenza.