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More Bird Flu Cases Confirmed in Indiana

Since news broke of an Indiana turkey flock carrying a new strain of avian influenza, H7N8, the USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) has confirmed eight detections of low pathogenic avian influenza (LPAI) and are now testing a ninth turkey flock that has an H7, as well. Five of the affected 10 commercial turkey flocks, all in Dubois County, have been depopulated while efforts continue despite the cold weather. 

“We are encouraged by continued negative test results in the control area,” said Denise Derrer of the Indiana State Board of Animal Health. “We are not letting up our efforts and are adding a 10 km surveillance zone beyond the control area for testing as assurance that no virus is left in the area.”

Since the initial highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) case announced on Friday, the other flocks have fallen into the category of LPAI—meaning minor symptoms and hardly any signs of infection.

“It appears that there was a low pathogenic virus circulating in the poultry population in this area, and that virus is likely mutated into a highly pathogenic virus in one flock,” said USDA chief veterinarian, Dr. John Clifford. 

APHIS is working alongside the Indiana State Board of Animal Health and Indiana poultry producers affected by this onset. Flocks with confirmed H7N8 have been quarantined, and depopulation is being used to eliminate the strain from spreading. 

“Through cooperative industry, state, and federal efforts, we were able to quickly identify and isolate the highly pathogenic case, and depopulate that flock,” said Clifford. “Together, we are also working to stop further spread of the LPAI virus, and will continue aggressive testing on additional premises within the expanded control area to ensure any additional cases of either HPAI or LPAI are identified and controlled quickly.”

The USDA responded quickly to these avian influenza cases and is working hand-in-hand with state and local officials, right after the news of the U.S. Government Accountability Office’s investigation of the USDA’s response efforts during the 2013 SECD outbreak in the swine industry.

To see the progress being made by flock, see this chart

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