The U.S. Department of Agriculture says the bird flu virus has been found at a farm holding nearly 10 percent of Iowa’s egg-laying chickens.
The confirmation of the highly infectious and deadly H5N2 virus means up to 5.3 million hens must be destroyed at the farm in northwest Iowa’s Osceola County.
Iowa is home to roughly 59 million hens that lay nearly one of every five eggs consumed in the country.
The farm had experienced a high number of chicken deaths, and sent samples to labs. It’s the first chicken farm in Iowa to be affected by the virus, which was confirmed at a turkey farm in the state last week.
Several Midwestern states have been affected by the outbreaks, costing poultry producers nearly 7.8 million birds since March.