Over 40 million chickens and other poultry species have been affected by the current avian influenza outbreak, according to data collected by the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. As of June 15, 2022, there have been a total of 186 commercial flock outbreaks in the country.

In this case, “affected” does not mean all the birds had the disease — every bird in a facility with a known case is considered “affected” under the USDA’s definition.

In February, the USDA reported that the virus reached a commercial flock in Indiana, the first confirmed case in the United States since 2020. In late April, the avian flu was detected in a human for the first time since the outbreak began. However, the risk level for the general public remains low. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “No known human-to-human spread has occurred with the A(H5N1) virus that is currently circulating in birds in the United States and globally.”

The data collected by APHIS shows a third, about 33.36%, of all outbreaks concentrated in Iowa. This could be because Iowa is a leading poultry and egg producer in the country. Minnesota had the highest number, 59, of commercial flock outbreaks. The graph below shows the number of birds on infected premises across 36 states with confirmed cases, and is not normalized for premise size or density.

Top image: photo by Steve Matzker, for Investigate Midwest

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