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More Bird Flu Outbreaks in Minnesota, State of Emergency in Iowa

02 May 2015

US - As four more outbreaks of H5N2 highly pathogenic avian influenza are suspected in the state, the Governor of Iowa has declared a State of Emergency to help gain control of the disease. Two new outbreaks are suspected in Minnesota.

On 1 May, Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship responded to four probable cases of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) in commercial poultry farms

  • Sac county 2 – Turkey farm (number of birds pending)
  • Pocahontas county – Turkey farm (number pending)
  • Cherokee county – Turkey farm (number pending)
  • Madison county - Commercial laying operation with an estimated one million birds.

In each case, increased mortality was observed in the flocks. Initial testing showed it positive for H5 avian influenza but additional confirmatory testing is pending from the APHIS National Veterinary Services Laboratories (NVSL) in Ames.

State officials have quarantined the premises and once the presence of the disease is confirmed, all birds on the property will be humanely euthanised to prevent the spread of the disease.

These four new cases would join 17 cases of the disease in Iowa that were previously announced, bringing the total number of outbreaks to 21 in 10 counties. 

State of Emergency declared in Iowa

On 1 May, Iowa Governor Terry E. Branstad was joined by Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey and Iowa Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management Director Mark Schouten to provide an update on the ongoing efforts to stop the avian influenza outbreak in Iowa.

Governor Branstad has declared a state of emergency in Iowa. This was effective immediately and will continue until 11:59pm on 31 May 2015, unless sooner terminated or extended by the governor.

He said; “While the avian influenza outbreak does not pose a risk to humans, we are taking the matter very seriously and believe declaring a state of emergency is the best way to make all resources available.

“Even before the virus began in Iowa, our office was monitoring the outbreak in other states. We’ll continue our work – as we’ve been doing since the first outbreak in Buena Vista cunty – in hopes of stopping the virus’ aggressive spread throughout Iowa.”

Mr Northey said: “Iowa’s poultry farms are an important part of our state’s agriculture industry. This disease is having a far reaching impact and, unfortunately, it has continued to spread. We have seen tremendous support and coordination from state, federal and local partners and this emergency declaration will allow the state to continue to respond aggressively to this disease outbreak.” 

Minnesota toll approaches four million birds

The latest update from Minnesota Board of Animal Health, dated 1 May, announced two presumptive positive flocks:

  • Kandiyohi – 26th detection (turkeys, flock size pending)
  • Meeker – 8th detection (turkeys, flock size pending).

These two results put the the number of outbreaks in the state at 72, with more than 3.97 million poultry known to be affected. Nineteen of the state's counties have one or more confirmed outbreaks.

A State of Emergency was declared by the governor of Minnesota on 23 April.

Further Reading

You can visit the Avian Flu page by clicking here.

ThePoultrySite News Desk

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