Avian influenza has now spread into a turkey grower facility near Carthage, Missouri, the Missouri Department of Agriculture (MDA) stated. MDA on March 8 announced that it is implementing a plan for a coordinated response to the avian influenza outbreak with the USDA, state health officials and industry partners.
MDA said the strain of avian influenza was the same – H5N2 – that was confirmed in a commercial turkey flock in Minnesota on March 5. H5N2 avian influenza has also been detected in birds in Washington, Oregon and Idaho.
Preliminary tests also came back positive for the virus at another facility in Fortuna in Moniteau County.
MDA is following its strict protocols to contain and eliminate the disease. The facilities were immediately quarantined and the remaining turkeys in the involved flocks will be depopulated and will not enter the food system. Following USDA protocols, surveillance and testing procedures are underway at properties near the affected facilities to ensure the virus has not spread.
As a precaution, the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) is reaching out to monitor workers who may have been exposed to the virus. MDA has also been working with the USDA, which is sending an incident management team to Missouri to assist MDA in its response.
The specimens from Carthage were tested by the state animal health diagnostic lab in Springfield and the USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) National Veterinary Services Laboratories in Ames, Iowa, confirmed the finding. MDA is awaiting confirmation on an additional specimen from Fortuna.