Worst Bird Flu Hits US as Iowa Egg Farm Prompted to Kill 4.2 Million Chickens

By Madz Dizon

May 28, 2024 10:35 PM EDT

Worst Bird Flu Hits US as Iowa Egg Farm Prompted to Kill 4.2 Million Chickens
(Photo : Scott Olson/Getty Images)

The state of Iowa stated on Tuesday, May 29, that over four million chickens will unfortunately need to be euthanized due to the detection of a highly pathogenic bird flu case at a large egg farm.

This recent detection in Iowa marks the first instance since December. Iowa holds the distinction of being the leading US egg producer, with nearly 12% of the country's layer hens, as per the data from the US Department of Agriculture. 

Bird Flu Hits Iowa Farm

Nearly 4.2 million chickens are currently being euthanized at a farm in Sioux County, Iowa, due to the presence of a disease. 

This outbreak has been ongoing for several years and has now started to impact dairy cattle as well. 

Last week, there was confirmation of the virus at an egg farm located west of Minneapolis, Minnesota. As a result, a significant number of chickens, approximately 1.4 million, had to be slaughtered.

According to Bloomberg, this outbreak is particularly severe, surpassing the previous record of over 5 million affected birds at a farm in Iowa's Osceola County in March 2022, when the virus initially began spreading in the country. 

Prices for eggs skyrocketed to an all-time high due to the unfortunate loss of tens of millions of birds in an effort to contain the spread.

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Bird Flu Spreads to Cattle, Heightening Concerns

Despite the increasing prevalence of bird flu in poultry, the recent transmission to cattle has heightened concerns surrounding the disease. 

In May, another case of bird flu was confirmed in a dairy farmworker, and the virus was found in both beef and milk samples. It has been confirmed on dairy cattle farms in nine states.

Moreover, health and agriculture officials assure the public that the risk remains low. 

The US Department of Agriculture reassured the public that the meat from a single sickened dairy cow was prevented from entering the nation's food supply, ensuring the continued safety of beef consumption, ABC News reported.

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