Bird flu expands in state

The highly contagious, and quickly spreading, poultry influenza has now been found in five locations throughout the state. The latest cases include a second Jefferson County location, with 800,000 egg-laying chickens, and a Chippewa County turkey facility, owned by Hormel Foods’ Jennie-O Turkey Store. That location has a flock of 87,000 turkeys.

Birds that don’t succumb to the disease are being euthanized, but the disease is spreading, likely through direct or indirect contact between affected birds and wild ducks or geese, according to a spokesperson from the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection.

According to media reports, in less than two months, the Midwest has lost more than 7 million birds to the disease.