With Around 8 Million Dead Birds Iowa Is Leading The Bird Flu Charts [UPDATE]
Update: This afternoon, officials announced two more bird flu outbreaks in Iowa adding more than 1.5 million birds to the affected flock's list.
According to the AP, these new outbreaks are located in Guthrie County and Hamilton County.
In Guthrie County, this means 1.5 million layer hens will be put down as well as 28,000 turkeys in Hamilton County.
In total, this means there have been over 8 million commercial and backyard birds have been affected in Iowa.
Original Story: As of Monday, the USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service recorded 77 commercial and backyard flocks with highly pathogenic avian influenza. Of these 77 cases, only seven are located in Iowa.
So why is it that an Iowa Capitol Dispatch article is saying Iowa accounts for 43% of the total affected birds?
Well, a lot of that comes down to the scale of flocks the flu is affecting.
**The map comes from WattPoultry.com**
According to USDA data, the largest flock to confirm the disease is the case in Buena Vista which affected 5,347,511 commercial layer chickens. After that, the next largest flock infected was in Wisconsin, which affected 2,757,768 commercial layer chickens.
Iowa also has the fourth-largest flock affected. On March 10th, a Taylor County layer chicken flock of 915,925 was confirmed as well.
**Chart includes cases before March 29th cases were announced**
Those two cases alone account for over six million birds. In total, over 6.5 million commercial and backyard birds have been affected in Iowa.
This isn’t the first time Iowa has been hit so hard by this kind of outbreak.
According to Iowa Capitol Dispatch when the 2015 outbreak of HPAI hit the United States, Iowa was also the hardest-hit state. Of the 50 million birds that were affected in the US, two-thirds of that were from Iowa.
Back in 2015, the outbreak only lasted two months, however, there is no way of knowing whether it will be that way this year. This year, the first detection of the disease also came around 6 weeks earlier than in 2015.
Numbers and information are from the USDA data. Data on the site can oftern take a few days to update after state agriculture officials announce new detections.