Five Outbreaks of the Avian Flu in Iowa Now Being Investigated

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The Iowa Department of Agriculture announced on Monday that five outbreaks of the avian flu are now being investigated.

The virus was potentially detected in three northwest Iowa counties. Two cases are being investigated in O’Brien County, Two in Sioux County, and another in Osceola County.

The four new cases would join three confirmed cases of the disease in Iowa, and could mean another six million chickens would be euthanized.

More than five million birds at another Osceola County farm are already being killed off. More than 60,000 turkeys from two other farms are also being killed.

Iowa leaders have had discussions about declaring a state of emergency and enlisting the National Guard to help with outbreak. However, they are not ready to call a state of emergency at this point, even with Wisconsin and Minnesota declaring.

Agriculture officials are still optimistic that they can stop the virus from spreading. They have said warmer weather and the end of migration from wild birds will hopefully help in those efforts.

Iowa has approximately 50 million laying hens, and roughly 20 percent have been infected.