The Missouri Department of Agriculture (MDA) has confirmed the presence of avian influenza at second turkey growing facility in the state. According to MDA, a farm located near Fortuna, in Moniteau County, was infected. About 21,000 turkeys are housed at that facility.
Previously, on March 8, the MDA confirmed that turkeys at a grower facility in Jasper County, with a commercial turkey flock of 30,100, had been infected with H5N2 avian influenza.
USDA’s National Veterinary Services Laboratory (NVSL) reported the Jasper County facility was the first time H5N2 avian influenza had been detected in Missouri.
Outbreaks of a strain of avian influenza have occurred in Minnesota, Oregon, Washington and Idaho and are not considered to be a threat to public health or the food supply.
MDA continues to follow 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 and USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) have initiated an incident command response, and APHIS will assist MDA in overseeing the depopulation of the remaining birds on the property to prevent the spread of the disease.
While lethal to birds, no human cases of these avian influenza viruses have been detected in the United States, Canada, or internationally, and there is no immediate public health concern.
The specimens from Moniteau County were tested by the state animal health diagnostic lab in Springfield and the APHIS National Veterinary Services Laboratories in Ames, Iowa, confirmed the finding.
MDA is urging all bird owners, whether commercial producers or backyard enthusiasts, to continue practicing good biosecurity, preventing contact between their birds and wild birds, and reporting sick birds or unusual bird deaths to local veterinarians and the Missouri Department of Agriculture’s Animal Health division at +1.573.751.3377.