Indianapolis News and Headlines

Actions

More than 400,000 birds affected by avian flu

Posted at 6:08 PM, Jan 18, 2016
and last updated 2016-01-18 18:31:56-05

INDIANAPOLIS -- State health officials say it could take some time to contain what they're describing as one of the worst avian flu outbreaks to hit Indiana.

Dozens of USDA officials have been deployed in the state as part of a joint incident response to the flu, which has affected 245,000 commercial turkeys and 156,000 commercial chickens so far. More than 400,000 birds so far have been affected.

Indiana's $.25 billion poultry industry employs about 14,000 people, and puts the state fourth in the country for turkey production.

At least 200,000 birds have been or are being euthanized.

Over the weekend, nine more commercial farms in Dubois Country tested positive for a form of the virus that doesn't cause the birds to get sick.

"We're trying to minimize any further growth of this, because there's so many producers in that area and it's a big, big industry for our state," said Sen. Joe Donnelly (D-Indiana). "What we're trying to do first and foremost is to keep all of our operations clean, keep all of our operations safe, and that's what we'll continue to work on."

The state veterinarian says the discovery of the low-pathogenic strain of the virus at nine more farms over the weekend is "good news." He points to aggressive surveillance on the part o the state to discover the virus before it further intensifies. The state is also extending testing another 6 miles beyond the current 6-mile radius of the site of the initial positive test as a precaution.

---

Download the new and improved RTV6 app to get the latest news on the go and receive alerts to your phone

Sign up to have the latest news headlines delivered straight to your email inbox