More highly pathogenic avian flu outbreaks have been reported in poultry in five states, including commercial turkey farms in Iowa and Virginia, the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) said in updates over the past few days.
Iowa's outbreak occurred at a turkey facility in Buena Vista County that houses 27,700 birds, marking the state's first outbreak of 2023, following seven outbreaks at the state's turkey farms in December. In Virginia, the virus struck a turkey farm that has 10,600 birds, the second affected farm in Rockingham County in less than a week.
Meanwhile, more outbreaks in backyard flocks were reported in New York, Oregon, and New Hampshire.
Since the Eurasian H5N1 strain was first detected in US poultry in February 2022, outbreaks have led to the loss of 58.2 million birds across 47 states.
So far 7 human cases
Globally, the virus continues to strike poultry and wild birds on multiple continents, and the H5N1 clade circulating in poultry has sickened several mammal species and was recently found to transmit among minks at a commercial mink farm in Spain, heightening concerns about further adaptation to mammal airways, including humans.
Seven human infections have been reported, all in people who had close contact with sick poultry. Some were mild, but some were severe or fatal.