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Bird flu confirmed in Pottawattamie County

The Iowa Department of Agriculture said Wednesday there is no health concern for the public.

POTTAWATTAMIE COUNTY, Iowa — There is at least one case of the highly pathogenic avian influenza in Pottawattamie County, according to the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship.

The department said Wednesday the case is in a non-commercial, backyard poultry flock. In a press release, the department cited the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention when it said there is no immediate health concern for the public. 

Right now, it is still safe to eat poultry. 

“We recognize the threat HPAI and other foreign animal diseases pose to Iowa agriculture,” Iowa Agriculture Secretary Mike Naig said in a statement. “We have been working with USDA, livestock producers and other stakeholders to develop, test and strengthen our foreign animal disease preparedness and response plans since the 2015 HPAI outbreak."

That outbreak killed 31 million birds in Iowa and affected more than 75 operations across the state. 

Iowa's Department of Agriculture advised to properly cook poultry, bring the internal temperature to 165 degrees. That will kill bacteria and viruses. 

HPAI is highly contagious and can travel from bird to bird without them appearing sick. 

Here are signs of HPAI: 

  • Sudden increase in bird deaths without any clinical signs
  • Lack of energy and appetite
  • Decrease in egg production
  • Soft- or thin-shelled or misshapen eggs
  • Swelling of the head, eyelids, comb, wattles, and hocks
  • Purple discoloration of the wattles, comb, and legs
  • Gasping for air (difficulty breathing)
  • Coughing, sneezing, and/or nasal discharge (runny nose)
  • Stumbling or falling down
  • Diarrhea

The CDC said no human cases of the bird flu has been detected in the United States. 

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