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H5N1 Avian Influenza found in hobby flock in Johnson County

Posted at 1:59 PM, Apr 26, 2022

JOHNSON COUNTY — A non-poultry flock in Johnson County has tested positive for the H5N1 avian flu, according to the state.

It's the first non-poultry flock to test positive in the state, according to the Indiana Board of Animal Health. Several other commercial flocks have already tested positive.

There are about 41 chickens, ducks and peafowl in the hobby flock in Johnson County, according to the board. The site has been "quarantined and depopulated."

The board is reaching out to residents near the site to schedule testing to ensure the virus hasn't spread.

Hobby poultry owners in Johnson County can contact the board at 317-544-2387 to schedule testing.

The avian influenza doesn't present a food safety risk and poultry and eggs are safe to eat when handled and cooked properly, according to a press release.

The board of animal health is encouraging poultry owners to practice good biosecurity and know the signs of avian influenza. Illnesses and deaths should be reported to the USDA Healthy Birds Hotline at 866-536-7593 where they will be routed to a state or federal veterinarian in Indiana for assessment.

The 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 head, eyelids, comb, hocks
  • Nasal discharge
  • Coughing
  • Sneezing
  • Incoordination
  • Diarrhea

Dead birds should be double-bagged and refrigerated for possible testing, according to the release.

The board of animal health will post updates online.