Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza Detected in a Sac County Turkey Flock

Jun 21, 2024

The Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship and the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) have detected a case of Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) in a commercial turkey flock in Sac County, Iowa. This is Iowa’s 3rd detection of HPAI within poultry in 2024.

About HPAI

HPAI is a viral disease that affects both wild and domestic bird populations as well as lactating dairy cattle. HPAI can travel in wild birds without those birds appearing sick, but is often fatal to domestic bird populations, including chickens and turkeys. With supportive care, dairy cattle recover with little to no mortality associated with the disease.

Heightened Biosecurity  

The Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship is strongly encouraging Iowa poultry producers and dairy farmers to bolster their biosecurity practices and protocols to protect their flocks and herds. The Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship has biosecurity recommendations for dairy herds to utilize. In addition, the Department has numerous other biosecurity resources for poultry producers and livestock farms to reference on its website. Farmers or farm workers who interact regularly with both dairy and poultry or who interact frequently with other farm workers in poultry or dairy, should take extra precautions to limit possible transmissions.

Suspected Cases in Poultry

If poultry producers or those with backyard birds suspect signs of HPAI, they should contact their veterinarian immediately. Possible cases must also be reported to the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship at (515) 281-5305.

Clinical signs of HPAI in birds may include:  

Sudden increase in bird deaths without any clinical signs 
Lethargy and/or lack of energy and appetite 
Decrease in egg production 
Soft, thin-shelled and/or misshapen eggs 
Swelling of the head, eyelids, comb, wattles, and hocks 
Purple/blue discoloration of the wattles, comb, and legs 
Difficulty breathing 
Coughing, sneezing, and/or nasal discharge (runny nose) 
Stumbling and/or falling down 

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