The governor of Iowa declared a state of emergency Friday due to a bird flu outbreak that has been spreading rapidly throughout the state. The announcement was made after the virus was found at four more poultry farms in the state, and the governor said the whole state would be at risk from the disease.
According to Reuters, Iowa is the third state to declare a state of emergency due to the avian flu virus. The others were Wisconsin and Minnesota, which declared states of emergency in April. Iowa is the top egg-producing state in the United States, and governor Terry Branstad said that as of Friday, 21 farms in Iowa had tested positive for the presence of bird flu. One affected farm is reportedly a commercial egg farm that has 5.5 million birds.
Iowa farms that have tested positive for the virus hold 16 million chickens, which will have to be culled as a result. That number reportedly represents about a quarter of the total number of egg-laying chickens in Iowa.
"While the avian influenza outbreak does not pose a risk to humans, we are taking the matter very seriously," Branstad said.