Avian Influenza has been detected in an Greene County Poultry Flock

State of Indiana Response to Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza

STATEWIDE SUMMARY:

   Total number of affected premises =4

Total number of affected counties = 2

Premises by County/Number of flocks

Dubois: 2

Greene: 2

Total number of birds affected in Indiana

Commercial Turkeys: 118,673

CURRENT SITUATION

Avian influenza has been detected in an additional commercial poultry flock.

GREENE2:  Laboratory testing of a commercial flock of turkeys in Greene County has identified H5 avian influenza virus. This is considered a presumptive-positive case, and samples are being verified at the USDA National Veterinary Services Laboratory (NVSL) in Iowa. This is the fourth farm (known as Greene2) in Indiana to be diagnosed with avian influenza. Pending test results should indicate if the virus is the same as the index farm diagnosed on Feb. 9 and if the virus is highly pathogenic. 

Depopulation efforts are underway on the premises, which includes 15,200 birds.  

The location of Greene2 is approximately 5 miles from the Greene1 site; therefore, a fourth 10-km circle has been established in Greene County. All commercial poultry within this new control area (13 farms) will be quarantined and tested regularly for the duration of this event (I.e., until the control area is lifted). About half of those farms are in the existing control area.

BOAH staff continue to reach out to known hobby/backyard poultry owners in the control areas to schedule testing of birds to ensure the virus is not present. To date, 32 hobby flocks have been sampled; laboratory testing determined them as negative. Hobby poultry owners in Southern Dubois County or Greene County should contact BOAH at 317-544-2387 to schedule testing at no charge.

BACKGROUND

On Feb. 9, 2022, a confirmed case of H5N1 highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) was identified in a single commercial turkey flock in Dubois County. This is the first report of HPAI in commercial poultry in the United States since 2020 and the first in Indiana since 2016.

Samples were collected from the birds on Feb. 7 and submitted to the Indiana Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory (ADDL) at Purdue University after approximately one hundred birds died, the flock appeared lethargic, and decreased consumption of water. Tests indicated a likely infection of an H5 avian influenza virus. Under standard protocols, the results were reported to the Indiana State Board of Animal Health (BOAH), which authorized prompt transport of the samples to US Department of Agriculture’s National Veterinary Services Laboratory (NVSL) in Ames, IA for confirmatory testing.

NVSL confirmed that the virus present was a highly pathogenic strain of H5N1 (with a Eurasian H5 goose/Guangdong lineage).

Upon confirmation of HPAI, the 29,000 turkeys in the flock (known as “Dubois 1”) were depopulated to prevent the spread of the disease in the area.

On Feb. 15 laboratory testing of a second commercial flock of turkeys in Dubois County has identified the H5 avian influenza virus (known as Dubois2).

Upon confirmation of HPAI, the 26,473 turkeys in the flock (known as Dubois 2) were depopulated to prevent the spread of the disease in the area.

On Feb. 17, a laboratory testing of a commercial flock of turkeys in Greene County has identified the H5 avian influenza virus (known as Greene1).

Upon confirmation of HPAI, the 48,000 turkeys in the flock (known as Greene1) were depopulated.

Ongoing testing of commercial and small, hobby flocks continues on a weekly basis.

RESPONSE       BOAH is working with multiple state and federal partners to respond to this event, including Indiana Department of Health, Indiana Department of Homeland Security, Indiana Department of Natural Resources, Indiana Department of Environmental Management, and USDA Veterinary Services, Wildlife Services , and Farm Service Agency.

PUBLIC ADVISORIES

Food Safety

Avian influenza does not present a food safety risk; poultry and eggs are safe to eat. Officials are not aware of any public health significance with this virus. No cases of human infection have been reported. Human health agencies will be monitoring workers and others in contact with birds to monitor for influenza-like illnesses.

Animal Health

Hobby poultry owners are encouraged to be aware of the signs of avian influenza and report illness and/or death to the USDA Healthy Birds Hotline:  866-536-7593. Callers will be routed to a state or federal veterinarian in Indiana for a case assessment. Dead birds should be double-bagged and refrigerated for possible testing.

Signs include  sudden death without clinical signs; lack of energy or appetite; decreased egg production; soft-shelled or misshapen eggs; swelling or purple discoloration of the head, eyelids, comb, hocks; nasal discharge; coughing; sneezing; lack of coordination; and diarrhea. A great resource for backyard bird health information is online at:www.aphis.usda.gov/aphis/ourfocus/animalhealth/animal-disease-information/avian/defend-the-flock-program/dtf-resources/dtf-resources.       Situation updates and status reports about ongoing avian influenza activities, along with critical disease-related information, will be posted online at:  https://www.in.gov/boah/species-information/avianbirds/highly-pathogenic-avian-influenza/. Users may subscribe to email and/or text updates on a subscribe link at that page.

Human Health

Community members who are affected by this animal health emergency are to be aware of the possible impact on their mental health and to seek assistance if needed. Available resources include:

  • Lifespring Health Systems: Local to Jasper, IN; provides support/crisis counseling to the farmers and workers on the staff of farms affected. 
    • Call 812-482-3030
  • Be Well Indiana: Feeling overwhelmed, stressed, anxious or alone? Call this free, confidential resource available 24/7 to anyone in the state of Indiana.
    • Call 2-1-1 and enter your ZIP code.
    • Follow the prompts and select number 3 for the Be Well Crisis Helpline.
  • Farm Aid: This organization connects farmers with helpful services, resources, and opportunities specific to their individual needs. Call the Farmer Hotline for immediate assistance Monday through Friday from 9:00 AM to 10:00 PM Eastern time.
    • Call 1-800-FARM-AID (1-800-327-6243).
  • National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: Provides 24/7, free and confidential support for people in distress, as well as prevention and crisis resources for you or your loved ones.
    • Dial 9-8-8 or call 1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255).

ABOUT INDIANA POULTRY PRODUCTION

Indiana is a leading producer of poultry, eggs, and poultry products. Nationally, Indiana ranks number 1 in ducks, second in layer chickens and table eggs, and third in turkeys, as well as a major producer of broilers. Dubois County is Indiana’s leading turkey-producing county.

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