A positive case of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) was confirmed in a non-commercial, backyard poultry flock in western Iowa last week, putting the state’s poultry farmers on high alert to guard against the deadly bird disease.

The Iowa discovery was the latest in a string of bird flu outbreaks, which have been confirmed in wild birds and commercial flocks in 12 states.

“This is certainly not welcomed news, but it’s not unexpected,” said Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig.

Officials noted the recent HPAI detections don't present an immediate public health concern and it remains safe to eat poultry products. 

The virus was found in a small, mixed flock of less than 50 chickens and ducks in southern Pottawattamie County, state officials said. The...