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Highly pathogenic avian influenza detected in Indiana

The last significant finding of HPAI was in Dubois County in 2016, when 11 poultry farms were affected, resulting in the loss of more than 40,000 birds.

DUBOIS COUNTY, Ind. — A Dubois County turkey farm is under quarantine after 100 of its birds died from a highly pathogenic avian influenza, which hasn't been reported in Indiana since 2016. 

The farm is under quarantine and the Indiana State Board of Animal Health (BOAH) said its 29,000 turkeys are being euthanized to prevent the spread of the disease.  

BOAH said the U.S. Department of Agriculture's National Veterinary Services Laboratory notified it that poultry from a commercial turkey farm in Dubois County tested positive for highly pathogenic H5N1 avian influenza. 

Highly pathogenic means it is more severe and contagious among birds. Avian influenza does not present a food safety risk; poultry and eggs are safe to eat when handled and cooked properly. No human cases of avian influenza viruses have been detected in the United States.

Samples from the farm's 100 birds were being tested in a Purdue University laboratory. BOAH said it's "actively working" to increase monitoring of flocks statewide.

This is the first case of highly pathogenic avian influenza in the U.S. since 2020 and the first in Indiana since 2016, when 11 poultry farms were affected and more than 400,000 birds died. 

The strain poses a significant threat to Indiana's poultry industry, which ranks third nationally in turkey production, first in duck production, second in table eggs and egg-laying chickens, and is a significant producer of broiler chickens. The poultry industry employs more than 14,000 Hoosiers and is valued at $2.5 billion.

BOAH is encouraging hobby poultry owners to practice good biosecurity, 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.

These are the symptoms farmers and hobby poultry owners should keep an eye out for:

  • 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
  • Incoordination
  • Diarrhea

Situation updates and status reports about ongoing avian influenza activities in Indiana can be found online

 

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