Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship and USDA APHIS Confirm Case of Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza in Non-Commercial Backyard Flock in Bremer County, Iowa

DES MOINES, Iowa (May 3, 2022) — 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 Bremer County, Iowa. The virus was found in a non-commercial backyard flock. This is the second confirmed case of HPAI in Bremer County, Iowa. The first case was in a commercial turkey flock on April 20.

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 must also be reported to the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship 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. 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. 
 

About HPAI
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
•    Diarrhea

For updates on this developing situation, please visit https://iowaagriculture.gov/animal-industry-bureau/avian-influenza.   

Commercial and Backyard HPAI Detections in Iowa

Date County Flock Type
3/1/22 Pottawattamie Backyard Mixed Species
3/6/22 Buena Vista Commercial Turkey
3/10/22 Taylor Commercial Layer Chickens
3/17/22 Buena Vista Commercial Layer Chickens
3/20/22 Warren Backyard Mixed Species
3/23/22 Buena Vista Commercial Turkey
3/25/22 Franklin Commercial Pullet Chickens
3/28/22 Hamilton Commercial Turkey
3/28/22 Guthrie Commercial Layer Chickens
3/29/22 Buena Vista Commercial Turkey
3/31/22 Osceola Commercial Layer Chickens
3/31/22 Cherokee Commercial Turkey
4/2/22 Sac Commercial Turkey
4/2/22 Humboldt Commercial Breeding Chickens
4/4/22 Hamilton Commercial Turkey
4/5/22 Hardin Commercial Turkey
4/20/22 Bremer Commercial Turkey
4/22/22 Kossuth Backyard Mixed Species
5/2/22 Bremer Backyard Mixed Species

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About the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship

Led by Secretary Mike Naig, the Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship serves the rural and urban residents that call Iowa home. Through its 14 diverse bureaus, the Department ensures animal health, food safety and consumer protection. It also promotes conservation efforts to preserve our land and enhance water quality for the next generation. Learn more at iowaagriculture.gov.

Media Contact:
Chloe Carson
Communications Director
515-326-1616
chloe.carson@iowaagriculture.gov