A flu that is highly transmissible and often deadly for domestic birds has infected a commercial flock of about 50,000 turkeys in Sac County, according to the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship.
The virus confirmation on Friday was the fourth in a week in Iowa and the eighth since October.
Highly pathogenic avian influenza has infected 27 commercial and backyard flocks in Iowa this year and has led to the culling of more than 15.7 million birds to prevent its spread.
Wild, migrating birds are believed to be the primary source of the virus, and 19 infected flocks were discovered in Iowa from March until May during the northerly migration. There was a five-month lull in infections before the subsequent eight detections that have happened during the current southerly migration.
The goose migration is expected to peak this month. Those birds, along with ducks, are known to carry the virus and can be asymptomatic.
Friday’s confirmation of an infected turkey flock was the second in three days in Sac County. Other detections since October include:
— Dec. 6: 100,000 commercial turkeys in Cherokee County
— Dec. 6: 40,000 commercial turkeys in Sac County
— Dec. 2: 40,000 commercial turkeys in Buena Vista County
— Nov. 7: 1 million commercial egg-laying chickens in Wright County
— Nov. 7: 17 mixed backyard birds in Louisa County
— Oct. 31: 1.1 million commercial egg-laying chickens in Wright County
— Oct. 20: 48 mixed backyard birds in Dallas County