PRO/AH/EDR> Avian influenza (163): USA (IA, CO), Mexico (SO), Canada (BC), poultry


A ProMED-mail post
ProMED-mail is a program of the
International Society for Infectious Diseases

In this post:
[1] Iowa (Buena Vista County): turkeys
[2] Colorado (Weld County): backyard flock
[3] Mexico (Sonora): domestic poultry
[4] British Columbia: commercial poultry

[1] Iowa (Buena Vista County): turkeys
Date: Fri 20 Oct 2023
Source: Des Moines Register [edited]

Absent for 7 months, bird flu has again resurfaced in Iowa, hitting a
commercial turkey facility in Buena Vista County and resulting in the
destruction of 50 000 birds, the Iowa Department of Agriculture said
Friday [20 Oct 2023].

The news comes as poultry producers braced for fall migration, which
can bring infections with highly pathogenic avian influenza. Wild
birds, in particular waterfowl, can spread the virus to domestic
flocks, often without showing signs of illness themselves.

Gov. Kim Reynolds issued a disaster proclamation for Buena Vista
County on Friday [20 Oct 2023] to help state and federal agencies
respond to the outbreak. The proclamation allows agencies to assist
with “tracking and monitoring, rapid detection, containment, disposal,
and disinfection.”

State and federal officials require the area around an infected
facility to be quarantined and poultry tested. Infected flocks are
killed to prevent the spread of the deadly, highly contagious

The last case to hit an Iowa flock was in March [2023], infecting
about 50 backyard birds in Chickasaw County. The current outbreak,
which began in 2022, has resulted in the destruction of roughly 16
million laying hens, turkeys, and other birds in Iowa.

Iowa, the nation’s top egg producer, tops the nation in birds
destroyed during the long outbreak.

Nationally, 59.4 million birds have been destroyed, US Department of
Agriculture data shows, making it the single largest foreign animal
disease outbreak in US history. Since last year [2022], Iowa has had
33 episodes of bird flu, while nationally, there have been 860.

The outbreak caused egg prices to spike last year [2022] to record
highs. But the USDA said prices have dropped 38% since their peak and
are expected to climb just 0.1% this year [2023].

Iowa Agriculture Secretary Mike Naig on 11 Oct [2023] urged producers
to tighten security measures to protect their flocks, given recent
outbreaks in South Dakota and Minnesota.

“Unfortunately, highly pathogenic avian influenza continues to be an
active threat to our state’s turkey producers, egg layers, and
backyard flocks,” Naig said in a statement. “We encourage everyone to
remain vigilant, review their biosecurity plans, and ensure they are
fully implemented.

“Prevention of disease is always our goal, but should we face new
cases, our team at the Iowa Department of Agriculture … working
jointly with USDA and industry partners, is ready to swiftly respond,”
Naig said.

According to the US Centers for Disease Control, the recent infections
in birds do not present a public health concern, and it remains safe
to eat poultry products.

[Byline: Donnelle Eller]

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