(Reuters) –The fast-spreading avian flu virus was confirmed for the first time in Nebraska, at a commercial egg-laying farm that housed a flock of 1.7 million chickens, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said on Tuesday.
The case in Dixon County, Nebraska, brings the number of states affected by the outbreak to 16, and the U.S. tally of birds that have either died or will be killed to 32 million.
The U.S. poultry and egg industry has been grappling for months with the biggest outbreak on record of avian influenza in the United States.
Authorities do not know how the H5N2 virus reached the Nebraska farm. The property has been quarantined and the flock will be culled, USDA said.
“Unfortunately, Nebraska has joined a long list of states currently dealing with highly pathogenic avian influenza,” said Greg Ibach, director of the Nebraska Department of Agriculture.
Nebraska farmers and state regulators…