AI confirmed in Indiana backyard flock

by Erica Shaffer
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WASHINGTON –The deadly outbreak of avian influenza continues to spread claiming more birds. The US Department of Agriculture confirmed May 10 the presence of highly pathogenic H5N8 in a backyard flock of birds in Whitley County, Ind. The size of the flock of mixed poultry is pending.

Since the first detection of AI in December 2014, USDA data show 143 detections were reported and 29,907,671 birds have been affected.

Meanwhile, the virus continues to spread in Iowa, the United States’ largest producer of shell eggs. Data from the state’s agriculture department shows approximately 24,380,473 million birds have been affected since the virus was first detected in April. Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad declared a state of emergency in response to the rapid spread of the virus. Since then, several state agencies have responded to the outbreak.

Iowa Homeland Security and Emergency Management Department is coordinating meetings with the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship (IDALS), Gov. Terry Branstad's office and several other partner agencies. The Iowa Department of Public Health is following up with workers in direct contact with sick birds without protective gear.

The Department of Natural Resources works to ensure disposal methods don't threaten surface water, groundwater and air quality and don't result in further spreading of the virus. The state’s Department of Human Services is assisting with damage assessments in Northwest Iowa.
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