Avian flu outbreak hits Indiana

Avian flu outbreak hits Indiana

USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service confirms presence of H7N8 in one county.

Avian influenza ripped through turkey and chicken flocks last spring, causing widespread issues in Minnesota and Iowa. Now a different strain has infected a commercial turkey flock in Dubois County, Indiana. On Friday, USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection service noted that this strain of highly pathogenic avian influenza is different and that there are no known cases of H7N8 infections in humans.

The agency reminds consumers to cook poultry and eggs to an internal temperature of 165 degrees F, which kills bacteria and viruses including HPAI.

Highly pathogenic avian influenza has been found in one Indiana turkey operation, while another nine flocks were infected too. Depopulation is underway. (Photo: Digital Vision/Thinkstock)

The flock had suffered increased mortality, so testing was conducted at the Indiana Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory at Purdue University, which is a part of USDA's National Animal Health Laboratory Network, and confirmed by USDA Friday. The USDA agency is working closely with the Indiana State Board of Animal Health on a joint incident response. State officials quarantined the affected premises and depopulation of birds on the premises has already begun. Depopulation prevents the spread of the disease. Birds from the flock will not enter the food system.

According to a report in Feedstuffs, the affected operation had 60,000-plus birds, including an associated site under the same management. The impacted site is in a poultry-dense part of southern Indiana.

Feedstuffs also reported that APHIS has confirmed the presence of H7 avian influenza in nine flocks in southwestern Indiana. These new cases were found as part of surveillance testing in the control area surrounding the flock impacted by the HPAI outbreak.

Testing is being conducted at the National Veterinary Services Laboratories in Ames, Iowa, to determine pathogenicity of those new cases. According to the report eight of the nine sites were found to have low-path avian flu, while results are still not available for the ninth flock.

The Indiana Board of Animal Health and local producers are moving ahead with depopulating all those flocks and the total number of birds affected nears 241,000.

USDA notes that anyone involved in poultry production, from the small backyard to the large commercial producer, should review their biosecurity activities to assure the health of their birds. You can find resources to help with a review, a biosecurity self-assessment and educational materials online.

TAGS: USDA
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