Home Indiana Agriculture News Commercial Duck Flock in Elkhart County Tests Presumptive-positive for Avian Flu

Commercial Duck Flock in Elkhart County Tests Presumptive-positive for Avian Flu

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A commercial duck flock in Elkhart County has tested presumptive-positive for the H5N1 avian influenza. The flock has an estimated 4,000 ducks.

A 10 kilometer control area is being established around the site. Indiana Board of Animal Health staff are working to notify the owners of the 78 commercial flocks in that area. BOAH says testing within that 10 kilometer area will commence soon and continue until restrictions are lifted.

During the coming days, BOAH staff will reach out to known hobby/backyard poultry owners in a 3-km infected zone to schedule testing of birds to ensure the virus is not present. Hobby poultry owners in Elkhart County should contact BOAH at 317-544-2387 to schedule testing at no charge.

This is the first case of avian flu found in Indiana since March 1. This case is the seventh in Indiana this year with four cases found in Dubois County and two in Greene County. Those previous cases led to the depopulation of 171,224 commercial turkeys in the state.

BOAH adds that avian influenza does not present a food safety risk; poultry and eggs are safe to eat. Officials are not aware of any public health significance with this virus. No cases of human infection have been reported.

Hobby poultry owners are encouraged to be aware of the signs of avian influenza and report illness and/or death to the USDA Healthy Birds Hotline:  866-536-7593. Callers will be routed to a state or federal veterinarian in Indiana for a case assessment. Dead birds should be double-bagged and refrigerated for possible testing.      

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; lack of coordination; and diarrhea. A great resource for backyard bird health information is online at:  www.aphis.usda.gov/aphis/ourfocus/animalhealth/animal-disease-information/avian/defend-the-flock-program/dtf-resources/dtf-resources.

Indiana ranks first nationally in duck production.