Bird flu case puts chicken, turkey farms on high alert
DES MOINES, Iowa – Farms that raise turkeys and chickens for meat and eggs are on high alert, fearing a repeat of a widespread bird flu outbreak in 2015 that killed 50 million birds across 15 states and cost the federal government nearly $1 billion.
The new fear is driven by the discovery announced Feb. 9 of the virus infecting a commercial turkey flock in Indiana. The 29,000 turkeys in the flock were killed to prevent spread of the virus.
The poultry industry and government officials say they have plans to more quickly stop the spread and are advising producers to take precautions, since the virus strain is potentially deadly to commercial poultry.
Egg, turkey and chicken prices could rise and availability could drop if birds at enough farms were to be infected.