Highly pathogenic H5N1 avian influenza was detected in southern Indiana on Wednesday. Samples were collected and sent to a Purdue lab earlier this week after approximately 100 birds died in a single commercial turkey flock in Dubois County.
“Depopulation of the 29,000 birds on the site was completed overnight (Wednesday) night,” says Denise Derrer Spears, public information director for the Indiana State Board of Animal Health. She spoke to Hoosier Ag Today on Thursday to provide an update on what’s being done now to prevent the spread.
“We have drawn a 10-kilometer circle for the area which is in southern Dubois County and identified another 17 commercial poultry flocks in that control area. They have completed the first round of testing and, so far, everything has been negative, which is good news.”
Derrer Spears continued saying, “All of those farms, all 18 of them, are under quarantine until we can lift the control area. That will require those farms that are within that area, they’ll need to be tested weekly to be sure that the flocks haven’t broken with the virus.”
BOAH staff have reached out to known hobby/backyard poultry owners in the control area to schedule testing of birds to ensure the virus is not present. Hobby poultry owners in Southern Dubois County should contact BOAH at 317-544-2387 to schedule testing at no charge.
The Indiana Department of Natural Resources is surveying the areas within and surrounding the control area for high populations of waterfowl to develop a strategy for wildlife surveillance. IN DNR is liaising with USDA-Wildlife Services staff in Indiana in this effort.
BOAH stresses that avian influenza does not present a food safety risk; poultry and eggs are safe to eat when prepared properly. Officials are not aware of any public health significance with this virus. No cases of human infection have been reported.