As highly pathogenic avian flu outbreaks continue at a steady pace, the virus has turned up at another large egg producer, this time in at a facility in Iowa's Sioux County that houses 1.6 million layers, according to the latest updates from the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS). The event adds to other recent outbreaks at egg producers, including another in Iowa that had 1.2 million birds, a facility in Ohio that housed 1.3 million birds, and one in Minnesota that led to the loss of nearly 1 million birds.
The surge in H5N1 avian flu activity, which began in early October, has also hit turkey farms hard, as well as other commercial operations. In its latest updates, APHIS also reported outbreaks affecting poultry flocks in seven other states, several of them at commercial farms. They include a broiler farm in Arkansas and turkey producers in Minnesota, North Dakota, and South Dakota. Detections were also reported in backyard flocks in Colorado, Iowa, Nebraska, and Washington state.
Since the outbreaks began in early 2022, they have led to the loss of a record 67.8 million birds. In November alone, the outbreaks have affected 7.6 million poultry.
In related developments, APHIS also reported more than 150 H5N1 detections in wild birds over the past several days, mostly in hunter-harvested waterfowl as part of disease surveillance. Some of the reports also involve birds found dead, including geese, waterbirds, and birds of prey.
Other countries are also reporting the reappearance of the virus, including Israel, where H5N1 struck a turkey farm in Zora that has 10,500 birds, according to a notification from the World Organization for Animal Health (WOAH). Germany reported an outbreak at a commercial farm in Lower Saxony state, and the United Kingdom has reported recent outbreaks at commercial farms in Devon and Northumberland.