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Avian Flu found at Indiana poultry farms

Posted at 12:46 PM, Jan 15, 2016
and last updated 2016-01-16 19:26:09-05

DUBOIS COUNTY, Ind. -- Nine more commercial turkey farms have tested positive for the avian flu, the Indiana State Board of Animal Health announced Saturday. 

A total of ten turkey farms have now tested positive for the avian flu in Dubois County. The Indiana State Board of Animal Health announced the first case Friday.

All of the positive flocks are located within the original control area, and were identified by surveillance testing.

The Indiana State Board of Animal Health said the flu was found after samples were tested following the death of hundreds of birds. The name of the farm has not been released.

“This finding of highly pathogenic H7N8 is unique to Indiana and the nation,” said Indiana State Veterinarian Bret D. Marsh.

Indiana officials say there is no food safety risk, and the risk to humans is very low.

“Indiana is one of the largest poultry states in America, and I have directed all relevant agencies to bring the full resources of the state of Indiana to bear on containing and resolving the issue as quickly as possible," Indiana Governor Mike Pence said in a statement. 

RELATED | Poultry ban pulls birds from State Fair

Backyard poultry owners are encouraged to be aware of the signs of avian flu and report illnesses and/or deaths to the USDA Health Birds Hotline at 866-536-7593.

Signs include:

  • Sudden death without any signs
  • Lack of energy/appetite
  • Decreased egg production
  • Soft-shelled or misshapen eggs
  • Swelling or purple discoloration of head, eyelids, comb, hocks
  • Nasal discharge
  • Coughing, sneezing
  • Lack of coordination
  • Diarrhea

Indiana ranks fourth in the nation in turkey production, first in duck production, third in eggs, and is a significant producer of broiler chickens.

The $2.5 billion poultry industry employs more than 14,000 Hoosiers.

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