An official with the USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) said that a quick response time to a case of highly pathogenic avian influenza that was confirmed on January 15 could help keep the latest outbreak to be as widespread as the 2015 U.S. avian influenza outbreak.

APHIS reported that a turkey flock in Dubois County, Indiana, had been affected by highly pathogenic H7N8 avian influenza, and nine other nearby flocks had been affected by H7N8. Eight of those were determined to be a low pathogenic strain of H7N8, while testing is still inconclusive on the other.

“Since the outbreak last year and all the lessons learned from that, there has been a lot of good work to increase our preparatory efforts at the federal side, the state side and the industry side,” Dr. T.J. Myers, associate deputy administrator, APHIS, told USDA Radio. “We are hopeful that as we respond very quickly to this virus, that we can get it contained and hopefully not see an extensive outbreak like we did last year, but … we’ll see how the days to come unfold.

Myers added that poultry producers and companies have been doing a lot to strengthen their biosecurity measures since the 2015 outbreak, which has helped.

See WATTAgNet’s avian influenza update page and 2016 avian influenza outbreak map to keep updated on the virus and its impact on the poultry industry.