Update on Iowa Avian Influenza Response

The Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship (IDALS) and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) said there have been no new probable cases of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) in the state this week and the last positive flock was detected on June 16.

Infected turkey flocks have been depopulated and are currently being composted.  Clean and disinfection is taking place.  Environmental samplings of all sites will take place to confirm successful cleaning and disinfecting before restocking.  IDALS and USDA officials have been meeting with affected farmers regularly to share information and answer questions.

All the commercial laying and pullet facilities have been depopulated and cleaning and disinfection of facilities is ongoing.  Disposal of affected birds has been completed except for the layer site announced last week.  That site had been doing on-site burial of affected birds, but due to the recent wet weather, burial has been stopped.  The birds are now being placed in bio-secure boxes and will be disposed of via incineration or at the landfill in Southwest Iowa.  Disposal of other materials from affected sites is ongoing.

To-date, over 1000 bio-secure boxes have been disposed of via incineration or at one of the two currently approved landfills.  Approximately 250 are still in need of disposal.  U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) contractor Clean Harbors is moving the materials.  All trucks are cleaned and disinfected before the leave an infected premise and before leaving a disposal site.

USDA has more than 2300 staff and contractors helping respond to the avian influenza situation in Iowa.  A USDA Incident Management Team (IMT) has been operating out of Ames and overseeing USDA’s activities.

More than 300 state employees have also participated in the disaster response at some point. The Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship, Iowa Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management, Iowa Department of Natural Resources, Iowa Department of Public Health (in conjunction with local public health officials), Iowa Department of Human Services, Iowa Department of Transportation, Iowa Department of Corrections, Iowa Department of Inspections and Appeals, and Iowa National Guard have all supported the response effort to this disease.

Updated information avian influenza will be posted to the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship’s website at www.iowaagriculture.gov/avianinfluenza.asp.


The Center for Disease Control (CDC) and Iowa Department of Public Health considers the risk to people from these HPAI H5 infections in wild birds, backyard flocks and commercial poultry, to be low.  No human infections with the virus have ever been detected and there is no food safety risk for consumers.