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USDA confirms highly pathogenic H5N8 avian flu in Indiana

USDA confirms first finding of H5N8 avian flu in Midwest; strain previously only found in Pacific flyway.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Animal & Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) confirmed May 11 the presence of H5N8 highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) in a backyard mixed-poultry flock in Whitley County, Indiana.

APHIS reported that while there have been multiple detections of H5N2 HPAI in the Mississippi flyway, this is the first finding of H5N8 HPAI in the Mississippi flyway, which previously had only been confirmed in the Pacific flyway.

CDC considers the risk to people from these HPAI H5 infections in wild birds, backyard flocks and commercial poultry, to be low. No human infections with the virus have been detected at this time.

Samples from the flock, which experienced increased mortality, were tested at the Indiana Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory, and the APHIS National Veterinary Services Laboratories in Ames, Iowa, confirmed the findings.

APHIS is working closely with the Indiana State Board of Animal Health to respond to the finding. State officials quarantined the affected premises and birds on the property will be depopulated to prevent the spread of the disease.

As a reminder, the proper handling and cooking of poultry and eggs to an internal temperature of 165°F kills bacteria and viruses.

As part of existing avian influenza response plans, Federal and State partners are working jointly on additional surveillance and testing in the nearby area.

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