More than 65.95 million birds have been affected by Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) in 2022 and 2023, according to USDA data. With bird migration season in full swing, those numbers are expected to climb. The USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) and the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship (IDALS) have reported 80 new cases of bird flu over 24 states in the last month.

Iowa’s death toll has surpassed last year, with more than 15 infection sites impacting nearly 3 million birds. Poultry producers should be vigilant in biosecurity precautions and keep a keen eye on symptoms. Symptoms include soft-shelled or misshapen eggs, swelling or purple discoloration of the head, eyelids, comb and hocks; nasal discharge, coughing; sneezing and diarrhea. State officials encourage producers to place the body of a deceased bird they believe to have died from avian influenza in a double bag and refrigerate the animal for testing.

Read more on avian influenza here.