Iowans Optimistic They Will Ward Off Bird Flu

The state of Tennessee has confirmed another case of avian influenza, a low pathogenic variant.

On March 6th, a flock was found in the state with H7N9 influenza.

The state veterinarian says the newly confirmed case on March 9th is from a different farm, and they don't think it was transferred from farm to farm. Although both are a variant of H7N9.

Bird flu travels by migratory birds, so it's hard to tell where a new case will show up. However, the Iowa Poultry Association says they are optimistic for Iowa.

Executive Director Kevin Stiles says many producers lost flocks from a devastating outbreak in 2015, "Producers have taken on biosecurity protocol and improved disease management practices, which will at least limit, or hopefully, and I think we remain hopeful that it will ward off the introduction of avian influenza into Iowa."

Stiles says producers clearly remember the impact of bird flu, which ended with the deaths of nearly 48 million birds, many farmers now keep track of the waterfowl and other birds that fly over their land.

Stiles says this strain of North American avian influenza is very contagious from bird to bird, "But it is not contagious and in particular, the strain we found in Tennessee, is not contagious to humans or pets."