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Additional case of avian influenza detected in Indiana

Indiana reported an additional case of avian influenza Tuesday night, half a mile from the initial case reported February 8. 

Another commercial turkey operation tested positive during the state’s routine quarantine procedures enacted because of the February 8 case. According to the Indiana State Board of Animal Health, 26,473 birds are in the process of being depopulated, bringing the state’s total to 55,473 affected birds.

READ MORE: Another case of deadly poultry virus found in Kentucky

In 2021, the National Agricultural Statistics Service reported that approximately 20 million turkeys were raised in Indiana, making it the No. 3 state for turkey production. Dubois County, where both of the cases were reported, is the state’s No. 1 county for turkey production.

Avian influenza was last diagnosed in the state in 2016. That year, Indiana lost 258,045 turkeys and 156,178 layer hens among 10 cases in Dubois County.

One of the most common ways for avian influenza to spread is from the droppings of wild fowl. The Indiana Department of Agriculture suggests that farmers take measures like having a boot wash station or dedicated barn boots to avoid tracking manure into their barns, or putting up nets to keep wild birds out.

READ MORE: Avian Influenza: Past, Present, and Future

Indiana officials encourage commercial farms to contact their veterinarian if they suspect a case of avian influenza. Hobby farms or those without a veterinarian are encouraged to contact the USDA Healthy Birds Hotline at 866-536‐7593 to get in contact with a state or federal veterinarian.

READ MORE: U.S. confirms highly pathogenic bird flu at Indiana turkey farm

Signs of avian influenza include birds dying without clinical signs; lack of energy; decreased egg production; soft-shelled or misshapen eggs; swelling or purple discoloration of the head, eyelids, comb, hocks; nasal discharge; coughing; sneezing; incoordination; and diarrhea. The USDA has a resource with images to help identify discoloration and other clinical signs

If farmers have a bird they believe has passed away because of avian influenza, state officials encourage them to double bag and refrigerate the bird to preserve it for testing.

Avian influenza is not a foodborne illness and does not pose a food-safety risk.

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