State Addresses Bird Flu Concerns

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DES MOINES, Iowa -- Nearly 4 million chickens are being euthanized as state agriculture officials try to contain an outbreak that is threatening Iowa's egg production industry.

The first chicken farm in Iowa to be affected by the bird flu has been under quarantine for the last 48 hours. At the time of the outbreak, the farm in Osceola County was home to 3.8 million chickens.

“All those birds will be euthanized, and then we will test that site; make sure that that site is free of the disease before birds can go back into that site, and then we have a six mile surveillance zone around that site,” Iowa Agriculture Secretary Bill Northey said.

Tests confirmed the H5N2 virus in the flock Carried by wild birds, the strain is spreading across the midwest.

“There’s always the threat of a bird flying over and giving you the flu, but what are chances?” LaVon Griffieon asks.

Her family runs a century farm in Ankeny. The Griffieon Family Farm raises livestock and about 70 laying hens.

“Everybody’s at risk, but I think you reduce your risk factors a lot when you have a small operation,” Griffieon said.

Health officials say there are no health risks to people or food safety concerns.

Experts expect to see more cases of bird flu, but aren't concerned that it will jump from farm to farm. They say the weather will play a role in the number of cases.

Officials say the virus thrives in the colder weather, not the heat.


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