Surveillance testing finds additional avian flu cases

Nine cases of H7 avian flu found through surveillance testing in initial control area in southwestern Indiana.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal & Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) confirmed Jan. 16 the presence of H7 avian influenza in nine flocks in southwestern Indiana. These new cases were identified as part of surveillance testing in the control area surrounding the initial highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) case. Testing is currently ongoing at the National Veterinary Services Laboratories in Ames, Iowa, to determine the pathogenicity of these new cases.

No cases of HPAI H7N8 virus infection have been reported in people at this time, and no human infections associated with avian influenza A viruses of this particular subtype (i.e., H7N8) have ever been reported.

APHIS continues to work closely with the Indiana State Board of Animal Health on a joint incident response. State officials quarantined the affected premises, and depopulation of birds on the affected premises has already begun. Depopulation prevents the spread of the disease. Birds from the flock will not enter the food system.

APHIS announced Jan. 15 the discovery of HPAI H7N8 at a commercial turkey operation in southwestern Indiana. The index case, which houses more than 60,000 birds, was the first discovery of H7N8 in the U.S., though preliminary testing is pointing to the virus being of North American lineage.

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