Iowa’s third case of bird flu is in a commercial egg-laying facility

Iowa agriculture officials said Friday bird flu was detected in a commercial flock of laying hens in Iowa, the third outbreak the state has experienced in less than a month.

The Iowa Department of Agriculture said Friday it has confirmed an outbreak of avian influenza in a commercial egg-laying operation in Taylor County, a southwestern county located on the Missouri border.

The state said nearly 920,000 laying hens would be destroyed to prevent the spread of the disease that’s highly contagious to other birds. gov. Kim Reynolds issued a disaster declaration for Taylor County, allowing the state ag department and other agencies to help track, monitor and contain the disease, as well as dispose of birds and disinfect facilities.

State officials have quarantined a six-mile circle around the site to restrict movement in and out of, as well as around the facility, said Chloe Carson, spokesperson for the Iowa Department of Agriculture.

Iowa reported its third case of highly pathogenic avian influenza, this time in a commercial egg-laying facility in southwest Iowa's Taylor County.  The facility had nearly 920,000 birds, all of which will be destroyed.  File photo

They are testing a commercial facility of hens that are less than a year old, known as pullets, that’s within the quarantine area.

Iowa has experienced two other outbreaks of the virus as it also spreads in other states across the US Officials confirmed the first outbreak March 1, when a backyard flock of 42 chickens and ducks tested positive for highly pathogenic avian influenza; and on Sunday, when 50,000 turkeys in a commercial facility in Buena Vista County tested positive for the virus.

All the birds have been killed to contain the disease.

State and federal agencies said none of the birds nor any poultry products from flocks where avian influenza is detected will reach US food supplies. No human cases of highly pathogenic avian influenza have been detected in the United States.

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