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State officials: Bird flu found at 4th Indiana turkey farm

February 19, 2022 GMT

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Avian influenza has been detected in a fourth commercial poultry flock in southern Indiana, state officials said Saturday.

Laboratory testing of a second commercial flock of turkeys in Greene County has come back as presumptively positive for the virus, the Indiana State Board of Animal Health said. The samples are being verified at the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Veterinary Services Laboratory in Iowa.

Another possible case was found about 5 miles (8 kilometers) away in Greene County earlier in the week. Two previous cases were found in adjacent Dubois County.

Pending test results should indicate if the virus is the same as that in the previous cases and if the virus is highly pathogenic.

Officials have begun euthanizing the 15,200 birds at the latest farm to prevent the spread of the disease.

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A 10-kilometer (6.2-mile) circle has been established around the latest farm in Greene County. Thirteen commercial poultry flocks within the new control area are under quarantine and will be tested regularly, the board said.

Animal Health Board staff have reached out to known hobby/backyard poultry owners in the new control area to schedule testing of birds there, it said.

The agency said avian influenza does not present an immediate public health concern and no human cases of avian influenza viruses have been detected in the U.S.

The turkey infections are the first confirmation of highly pathogenic bird flu in commercial poultry in the U.S. since 2020, the U.S. Department of Agriculture has said.

A January 2016 outbreak of bird flu in Dubois County affected 11 poultry farms, resulting in the loss of more than 400,000 birds, the Animal Health Board said.

Indiana ranks third nationally in turkey production.