- Associated Press - Tuesday, April 21, 2015

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - The northwest Iowa chicken farm dealing with a bird flu virus has been quarantined and is working with state and federal officials to prevent the spread of the disease.

Sunrise Farms near Harris in Osceola County says Tuesday it houses 3.8 million laying hens, a smaller number than the 5.3 million government officials initially reported. It is a division of Sonstegard Foods Co. of Sioux Falls, South Dakota. A company statement says routine tests confirmed the virus in its flock.

The chickens must be killed and composted on the farm as part of the containment process.

A quarantine area of about 6 miles is established around affected farms and all poultry in the area is tested, including backyard flocks and other commercial operations.

The virus has hit eight Midwestern states.

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