The deadly avian influenza is making headlines in Wisconsin, with well over a million chickens and turkeys now being destroyed because of outbreaks of the virus on just ten farms in the state. While those facilities will feel the impacts of the virus for months to come, Wisconsin is actually faring better than many of its neighboring states when it comes to the prevalence of the H5 bird flu strain.
Raechelle Cline with the state Department of Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection says about 1.7 million birds have been euthanized in Wisconsin because of the virus, but it’s only a small fraction of what things could look like with a more widespread outbreak. Those ten farms are among the 19,173 registered premises in the state that produce poultry and eggs.
Several neighboring states are seeing a much more pronounced impact from the spread of the virus, the cause of which remains unknown. Iowa has had about 21 confirmed cases, while Minnesota has seen the virus found on about 80 farms. Nationwide, the US Department of Agriculture says there have 133 cases detected since December, resulting in the destruction of over 25.7 million birds.