WASHINGTON — The wave of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) is gaining momentum as 14 states have already reported outbreaks since the onset of the 2023 fall bird migration, according to data from the US Department of Agriculture (USDA).

October brought with it a spike in HPAI cases, with over 260 times more birds affected than in the summer months combined.

Most recently adding to the affected states have been Iowa, Alaska, Alabama and California.

According to the USDA and the Iowa Department of Agriculture & Land Stewardship, four different flocks in Iowa have been infected with HPAI this past month, two commercial turkey flocks in Buena Vista County, one commercial turkey flock in Pocahontas County and one backyard flock in Guthrie County. The total number of affected birds from these outbreaks is over 99,000.

Alaska saw its first two cases last month on the same day, Oct. 28, in backyard flocks in Matanuska Susitna County. USDA reported 40 birds affected as a result.

The outbreak reported in Chilton County, Ala., affected 296,500 birds in a commercial gamebird flock.

California’s outbreak occurred in a commercial turkey flock in Merced County, affecting 31,600 birds.

The total number of birds culled since the beginning of the current HPAI wave now surpasses 60 million.

Read more on the latest HPAI outbreaks.