Branstad, Northey provide update on avian influenza in Iowa; Branstad declares state of emergency in Iowa

Written by Theresa Rose on May 2, 2015

(DES MOINES) – Iowa Gov. Terry E. Branstad today was joined by Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey and Iowa Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management Director Mark Schouten to provide an update on the ongoing efforts to stop the avian influenza outbreak in Iowa. In addition, Gov. Branstad announced that he is declaring a state of emergency in Iowa. The disaster proclamation can be viewed here.

“While the avian influenza outbreak does not pose a risk to humans, we are taking the matter very seriously and believe declaring a state of emergency is the best way to make all resources available,” said Branstad. “Even before the virus began in Iowa, our office was monitoring the outbreak in other states. We’ll continue our work – as we’ve been doing since the first outbreak in Buena Vista County – in hopes of stopping the virus’ aggressive spread throughout Iowa.”

At time of press, 21 sites spanning 10 Iowa counties have cases that are either presumed positives or confirmed positives. The counties include: Buena Vista, Cherokee, Clay, Kossuth, Madison, O’Brien, Osceola, Pocahontas, Sac and Sioux.

“Iowa’s poultry farms are an important part of our state’s agriculture industry. This disease is having a far reaching impact and, unfortunately, it has continued to spread. We have seen tremendous support and coordination from state, federal and local partners and this emergency declaration will allow the state to continue to respond aggressively to this disease outbreak,” Northey said.

In addition, Gov. Branstad today declared a state of emergency due to the outbreak. The proclamation is effective immediately and will continue until May 31, 2015, at 11:59 p.m., unless sooner terminated or extended by the governor.