As response teams work to depopulate and clean up Iowa farms affected by the avian flu, biosecurity is top of mind, they said. Even after a farm tests positive for avian flu, there are biosecurity protocols in place to try to limit the spread of the disease.

Neighbors and passers-by can help in those efforts by simply staying away from farms that have tested positive for avian flu.

"Biosecurity is important to cut the transmission of this disease," said Kyoung-Jin Yoon, professor in veterinary diagnostic and production animal medicine at Iowa State University (ISU).

The lab at ISU conducts the initial testing to confirm if a poultry site is positive for avian influenza. The National Veterinary Services Laboratory (NVSL), also based in Ames, then determines if it’s high or low pathogenic. The lab tests 500 to 1,500 samples per week for avian flu, Yoon said.

Yoon said avian flu is usually spread through contact with wild waterfowl, but it’s suspected the disease can also be moved through dust and by the wind. It’s possible that people may also serve as...