DES MOINES, Iowa- More Avian Influenza cases have been confirmed in bird populations throughout Iowa counties ahead of and during this weekend, according to the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship.
The two most recent outbreaks were confirmed Saturday November 11th in Kossuth County and Cerro Gordo County.
The new case in Kossuth County was detected in game bird pheasants, quail and chukars; and the case in Cerro Gordo County was found in backyard mixed species.
On Friday November 10th, two other cases were also confirmed. One was an outbreak among commercial layer chickens in Taylor County and the other was among backyard mixed species in Jones County.
This brings the total number of bird flu outbreaks since October 20th of this year to 13, and 9 counties have been impacted.
The other counties that have confirmed cases include Buena Vista, Pocahontas, Guthrie, Clay, and Hamilton.
On Friday November 10th, Governor Reynolds issued a disaster proclamation in Taylor County for the recent outbreak. It will remain effective until December 10th.
The Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship released symptoms that bird owners should watch out for.
These include seeing an increase in bird deaths without clinical signs, a lack of energy or appetite, a decrease in egg production or misshapen eggs, coughing, sneezing, nasal discharge, and more.
With Thanksgiving coming up, some consumers may feel concern regarding the bird flu outbreaks.
However, of the 13 outbreaks, only three impacted turkey flocks. The Iowa Turkey Federation previously said that farmers and retailers anticipate bird flu as a risk every year so they plan in advance for the holiday and have safety measures in place.
“They’re [birds with bird flu] not going to enter into your food system. So, there’s no human risk,” Morgan Pothoven, the Director of Communications and Membership for the federation, previously said.
Pothoven also previously assured that turkeys in Iowa are typically used for deli meat instead of Thanksgiving dinner, so Thanksgiving dinner shouldn’t be impacted by the three outbreaks of bird flu in Iowa turkey flocks.