Bird flu confirmed in Iowan commercial turkey flock

(ABC 6 News) – The Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship confirmed a case of highly pathogenic avian influenza in a commercial turkey flock in Buena Vista County, Iowa on Oct. 31, 2023.

The IDALS identifies HPAI as a highly contagious viral disease affecting bird populations. According to the IDALS, HPAI travels in wild birds that may not appear sick, but is fatal to domestic birds like chickens or turkeys.

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The avian influenza can spread via droppings or nasal discharge of an infected bird, according to the IDALS. Both can contaminate dust and soil.

Signs of HPAI may include:

•           Sudden increase in bird deaths without any clinical signs

•           Lethargy and/or lack of energy and appetite

•           Decrease in egg production

•           Soft, thin-shelled and/or misshapen eggs

•           Swelling of the head, eyelids, comb, wattles, and hocks

•           Purple/blue discoloration of the wattles, comb, and legs

•           Difficulty breathing

•           Coughing, sneezing, and/or nasal discharge (runny nose)

•           Stumbling and/or falling down

•           Diarrhea

The IDALS and the USDA recommends commercial and backyard flock owners prevent contact between their and wild birds. Owners should immediately report all sick or unusual deaths among birds to state or federal officials to help prevent the spread of HPAI.

The Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship website has security resources and recommend practices if contact with HPAI or other ailments are made.