The U.S. poultry industry continues to be ravaged by H5N2, the deadly avian flu virus that has forced the culling of millions of birds across several states in order to prevent them from entering the human food system.
On Friday, officials in Iowa, where the flu has been largely concentrated, announced that two more farms had tested positive for the flu, possibly affecting four million chickens. Since March, bird flu has affected more than 30 million birds in 13 states, though the risk to humans remains low.
Furthermore, officials announced that the virus is thought to have spread to five more turkey farms, though they only detailed the potential loss for one farm of 42,000 birds. If all cases are confirmed after preliminary testing, Iowa will have lost nearly 25 million chickens — more than 40 percent of Iowa’s egg-laying flock— and more than 750,000 turkeys.
Two Iowa counties have since declared states of emergency as a precaution, urging residents to limit traffic near any poultry farms and limiting the transportation of poultry or poultry waste.