The case of highly pathogenic H7N8 avian influenza confirmed by the USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) on January 15 occurred in a Dubois County, Indiana, turkey flock that was being raised for Farbest Foods.
“Farbest Farms Inc. and the turkey industry are working closely with state and federal officials to keep the public informed and to be sure the best possible steps are being taken to protect the public and animal health. Federal and state officials will be working jointly on additional surveillance and testing in the nearby area, following the existing avian influenza response plan for Indiana,” wrote Ted Seger, Farbest president.
The affected farm is owned by Steve Kalb, who was raising the birds for Farbest. Kalb told Tristate hompage an estimated 60,000 turkeys on the farm will be depopulated.
Samples from the affected flock were initially tested by Farbest, then confirmatory testing was done by the avian diagnostic lab at Purdue University, and those testings were confirmed by APHIS.
Since the Farbest flock was infected, APHIS has confirmed nine other cases of H7N8 avian influenza in the area, eight of which were confirmed to be a low pathogenic form of H7N8. According to Dr. John Clifford, USDA chief veterinarian, the low pathogenic virus appears to have been circulating in the poultry population in the area and likely mutated into a highly pathogenic virus in the one flock.
An updated map created by WATTAgNet staff shows the locations of the 2016 avian influenza cases.