Area Poultry Farmers Watching Out for Chinese Bird Flu Strain

There have been -no- cases reported in Iowa, but a strain of bird flu that’s deadly to humans has already killed 140 people in China. The USDA’s head veterinarian, Dr. Jack Shere says the agency is preparing to fight the strain should it be found here. Shere says it’s possible migrating wild birds could bring the killer strain over from China which is why vigilance is so important.

An outbreak of a different strain of bird flu in 2015 resulted in the destruction of more than 31 million chickens and turkeys in Iowa and an economic loss to the state of $1.2 billion. The disease was confirmed at 77 Iowa poultry operations in 18 counties including one of the largest in Wright County. Shere says producers need to button up their flocks.

There were bird flu outbreaks this year in Tennessee and Wisconsin, but federal health officials say the risk to people from those strains is low.

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