Iowa’s seventh bird flu outbreak detected in Franklin County chicken flock

Omar Waheed
Des Moines Register

The highly infectious bird flu was detected in a commercial flock of pullet chickens in Franklin County, state and federal agencies said. 

The Iowa Department of of Agriculture and U.S. Department of Agriculture confirmed the outbreak, the seventh outbreak in Iowa this month, on Saturday. The state department said the latest case affects about 250,000 birds.

Iowa's first outbreak of this strain of bird flu was detected first in Pottawattamie County March 1.

Since then, Buena Vista County has experienced three outbreaks this month, all commercial flocks on March 6, 17 and 23. Gov. Kim Reynolds signed a disaster proclamation after the second outbreak.

More:Iowa agriculture department shuts down bird contests at fairs to prevent bird flu spread

Other outbreaks occurred in Taylor County on March 10, causing millions of hens to be destroyed and Warren County March 20 in a small noncommercial flock.

More than six million Iowa birds from commercial and backyard flocks have been killed this month in an effort to contain the virus.

Iowa leads the nation in egg production, with 55 million laying hens producing 16 billion eggs annually, and it ranks seventh nationally for turkey production, raising 12 million birds a year. 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports there are no cases of humans contracting bird flu in the United States and does not pose a threat to public health as poultry products remain safe to eat.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.