Three cases of bird flu reported in Iowa, fourth state to record the disease

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Two commercial turkey farms in Iowa have been hit by a resurgence of bird flu, leading to the culling of about 100,000 turkeys to prevent the spread of the disease.

The new infections reported by the Iowa Department of Agriculture come just weeks after turkey farms in South Dakota and Utah reported the first U.S. outbreaks of the disease since last April, raising questions about how the disease may spread elsewhere. local concerns.

Since October, 12 commercial chicken flocks in South Dakota, Utah and Minnesota have been affected, totaling more than 500,000 chickens, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).

Bird flu caused poultry producers in 47 U.S. states to lose nearly 59 million birds last year, including laying hens, turkeys and broilers, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, making it the worst outbreak in history. The outbreak caused consumer egg and turkey prices to soar, costing the government more than $660 million.

Iowa was the worst-affected state last year, losing nearly 16 million poultry, but it has not reported a case since March.

The state agriculture agency reported Friday that a commercial farm with about 50,000 turkeys in Buena Vista County has been infected. On Monday, another feedlot in neighboring Pocahontas County with about 47,500 turkeys was diagnosed with the disease.

In Guthrie County, about 50 poultry are also infected, the department said.

Until last week, the only reports of bird flu in the United States in recent months had been sporadic outbreaks in poultry or wild birds such as ducks, geese and hawks. Although wild birds typically do not show symptoms of avian influenza, the infection in these specimens is worrying the poultry industry at the start of the migration season. Migratory birds can spread diseases to commercial farms.

Avian influenza infections are relatively rare in humans and are not considered a food safety risk. But scientists worry it could spread more easily among humans by affecting other species, including some mammals. Cambodia this week reported its third death from bird flu so far this year.

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