INDIANAPOLIS (9 February 2022)—The Indiana State Board of Animal Health (BOAH) has been notified by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Veterinary Services Laboratory that poultry from a commercial turkey farm in Dubois County has tested positive for highly pathogenic H5N1 avian influenza.
Avian influenza does not present a food safety risk; poultry and eggs are safe to eat when handled and cooked properly. No human cases of avian influenza viruses have been detected in the United States.
A veterinarian delivered samples from the flock to the Indiana Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory at Purdue University for testing after approximately one hundred birds died. The farm is under quarantine. BOAH is actively working with the industry to increase monitoring of flocks statewide.
This finding is the first case of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) in commercial poultry in the United States since 2020. HPAI was last identified in commercial flocks in Indiana in 2016.
Indiana’s poultry industry ranks third nationally in turkey production, first in duck production, second in table eggs and egg-laying chickens, and is a significant producer of broiler chickens. The poultry industry employs more than 14,000 Hoosiers and is valued at $2.5 billion.
Hobby/backyard poultry owners are strongly encouraged to practice strict biosecurity and be aware of the signs of avian influenza and report illness and/or death to the USDA Healthy Birds Hotline at 866-536-7593 or Alabama Department of Agriculture and Industries Poultry Unit at 1-800-642-7761 Ext. 6584. Callers will be routed to a state or federal veterinarian in Alabama for a case assessment. Dead birds should be double-bagged and refrigerated for possible testing.
Signs include the following: sudden death without clinical signs; lack of energy or appetite; decreased egg production; soft-shelled or misshapen eggs; swelling or purple discoloration of head, eyelids, comb, hocks; nasal discharge; coughing; sneezing; incoordination; and diarrhea. A great resource for backyard bird health information is online at: www.aphis.usda.gov