Highly Pathogenic Avian Flu Now on Three Indiana Poultry Farms

Avian influenza has been detected on a total of three southern Indiana commercial poultry farms, two in Dubois County and one in Greene County.

The first case incident in Dubois County resulted in depopulation of 29,000 turkeys. The second instance, also in Dubois County, resulted in the depopulation of 26,473 turkeys, and the third in Greene County will result in the depopulation of approximately 48,000 birds, totaling over 100,000 turkeys.

The Indiana Board of Animal Health says a high mortality rate led to testing on the Greene County farm. The lab testing has identified H5 avian influenza virus. This is considered a presumptive-positive case, and samples are being verified at the USDA National Veterinary Services Laboratory (NVSL) in Iowa.

The location of the Greene County farm is outside of the existing control area circles; therefore, a third 10-km circle has been established in Greene County and a portion of Northern Daviess County. All commercial poultry flocks (10 total) within this new control area are under quarantine and will be tested regularly for the duration of this event (I.e., until the control area is lifted).

BOAH staff continue to reach out to known hobby/backyard poultry owners in the control areas to schedule testing of birds to ensure the virus is not present. To date, 26 hobby flocks have been sampled; laboratory testing determined them as negative. Hobby poultry owners in Southern Dubois County or Southwest Greene County should contact BOAH at 317-544-2387 to schedule testing at no charge.

Avian influenza does not present a food safety risk; poultry and eggs are safe to eat. Officials are not aware of any public health significance with this virus. No cases of human infection have been reported. Human health agencies will be monitoring workers and others in contact with birds to monitor for influenza-like illness.

Hobby poultry owners are encouraged to be aware of the signs of avian influenza and report illness and/or death to the USDA Healthy Birds Hotline:  866-536-7593. Callers will be routed to a state or federal veterinarian in Indiana for a case assessment. Dead birds should be double-bagged and refrigerated for possible testing. Signs include: sudden death without clinical signs; lack of energy or appetite; decreased egg production; soft-shelled or misshapen eggs; swelling or purple discoloration of head, eyelids, comb, hocks; nasal discharge; coughing; sneezing; lack of coordination; and diarrhea. A great resource for backyard bird health information is online at: www.aphis.usda.gov/aphis/ourfocus/animalhealth/animal-disease-information/avian/defend-the-flock-program/dtf-resources/dtf-resources.

Source: Indiana State Board of Animal Health

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