CASE OF HIGHLY PATHOGENIC AVIAN INFLUENZA IN SAC COUNTY, IOWA CDC considers the risk to people to be low
DES MOINES – The Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship is responding to a case of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) in a commercial turkey flock in Sac County, Iowa. The facility has 34,000 turkeys and is within the 10 kilometer monitoring zone surrounding the initial HPAI case in Buena Vista County. This is the third case of HPAI in Iowa.
The flock has experienced increased mortality and samples have been sent to the Iowa State University Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory. Preliminary results showed the birds positive for an H5 strain of avian influenza. Samples were then sent to the APHIS National Veterinary Services Laboratories (NVSL) in Ames, Iowa to further confirm the findings.
State officials quarantined the premise and birds on the property will be humanely euthanized to prevent the spread of the disease.
The Center for Disease Control (CDC) and Iowa Department of Public Health considers the risk to people from these HPAI H5 infections in wild birds, backyard flocks and commercial poultry, to be low. No human infections with the virus have ever been detected.
The United States has the strongest Avian Influenza (AI) surveillance program in the world. As part of the existing USDA avian influenza response plans, Federal and State partners as well as industry are responding quickly and decisively to these outbreaks by following these five basic steps: 1) Quarantine – restricting movement of poultry and poultry-moving equipment into and out of the control area; 2) Eradicate – humanely euthanizing the affected flock(s); 3) Monitor region – testing wild and domestic birds in a broad area around the quarantine area; 4) Disinfect – kills the virus in the affected flock locations; and 5) Test – confirm that poultry farms in the area are free of the virus.
The Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship in partnership with the Iowa Department of Public Health are working directly with poultry workers at the affected facility to ensure proper precautions are being taken.
These virus strains can travel in wild birds without those birds appearing sick. People should avoid contact with sick/dead poultry or wildlife. If contact occurs, wash your hands with soap and water and change clothing before having any contact with healthy domestic poultry and birds.
All bird owners, whether commercial producers or backyard flock owners, should continue to practice good biosecurity, prevent contact between their birds and wild birds, and report sick birds or unusual bird deaths to state/federal officials, either through their state veterinarian at 515-281-5321 or through USDA’s toll-free number at 1-866-536-7593. Additional information on biosecurity for backyard flocks can be found at http://healthybirds.aphis.usda.gov.