USDA Confirms Another Outbreak of Deadly Bird Flu in Wisconsin Farm

by Madison Miller
Photo by: Sven-Erik Arndt/Arterra/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

We have a new bird flu case happening in the U.S. right now.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture just announced that the bird flu has now been spotted at a commercial chicken business located in Wisconsin. There were samples tested in a laboratory and then confirmed at the National Veterinary Services Laboratories in Iowa.

The bird flu is a type of respiratory virus that spreads between birds through either eye or nose secretions or even manure.

According to The Associated Press, certain farms are now on high alert after bird flu was spotted. Any local farms that have chicken and turkeys that people buy eat must take certain very important precautions. As the bird flu pops up in several U.S. states, it’s important farms aren’t selling potentially contaminated meat products.

Precautions Taken in Wisconsin

All farms in Jefferson County in Wisconsin are under quarantine efforts. This means that all of the chickens within the bird flu flock are not going to be heading to grocery stores. This is the best way to make sure the bird flu doesn’t spread any further.

The bird flu is something that (rightfully) terrifies both farmers and consumers. Back in 2015, there was a massive outbreak of bird flu. It ended up killing 50 million birds in 15 different states. All in all, we were looking at $15 million in losses from this outbreak that impacted our food system.

People can also get the bird flu, hence the extreme caution in making sure none of the infected birds are getting put on people’s plates. Bird flu viruses can infect people when it gets in their eyes, nose, mouth, or if it is inhaled.

As of now, this bird flu outbreak doesn’t raise too many concerns for the CDC. There have been no cases of the bird flu in people in the U.S. at this time. As we continue to grapple with the COVID-19 pandemic, people are obviously more fearful of any type of viral outbreak perhaps even more than before.

Other States Impacted by Bird Flu

Wisconsin isn’t the only state dealing with the bird flu at the moment.

For example, Iowa officials detected the bird flu in a flock of hens in Iowa last week. According to the Des Moines Register, this marks the third outbreak in the state in less than a month. The infected hens were at an egg-laying business in Taylor County, which is right on the Missouri border.

Now, there was a total of 920,000 laying hens that would need to be destroyed in order to prevent this disease from spreading. There is also a six-mile radius around the site quarantined to make sure the bird flu doesn’t spread. The first outbreak was on March 1 in a backyard flock of chickens and ducks and the second was this past Sunday in a Bunea Vista County commercial facility in 50,000 turkeys.