Still unclear how bird flu outbreak will affect prices - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Still unclear how bird flu outbreak will affect prices

(KFVS) -

An outbreak of bird flu has struck Iowa farms, but it's unclear how it will affect poultry prices long-term.

Crews in protective gear washed down trucks as they left a commercial farm in northwest Iowa where the H5N2 bird flu virus has been found.

Around 3.8 million hens have to be destroyed.

Poultry farms across the Midwest have been battling the latest outbreak for weeks. More than two million birds have already been killed.

Minnesota has had 28 turkey farms hit, but the Iowa outbreak is the biggest so far.

"It's important to know that there will be fewer eggs produced in the state of Iowa," Executive Director for the Iowa Poultry Association Randy Olsen said.

Iowa is the nation's largest egg producer. One in every five eggs consumed in the United States comes from the state.

It's unclear how the outbreak will affect egg prices.

"Right now we don't see the loses,” Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey said. “So far that we are seeing an increase on prices, but we don't know how this is going to play out.”

Experts think wild birds migrating back north are spreading the virus.

While it is highly contagious and deadly to chicken and turkeys, health experts say the risk to humans is very low.

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