Highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) has been confirmed in a commercial broiler flock in Fulton County, Kentucky, as well as in a backyard flock in Fauquier County, Virginia.

The two new cases were announced by the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) on February 14.

Avian flu in commercial broiler flock

Samples from two Kentucky flocks were tested at the Breathitt Veterinary Center Laboratory and were confirmed at the APHIS National Veterinary Services Laboratories (NVSL) in Ames, Iowa. 

One was the broiler flock in Fulton County, while the other was a turkey flock in Webster County.

The tests from the Fulton County flock were confirmed to be positive for HPAI, while the results of the Webster County flock were pending.

The Fulton County case is the first confirmed detection of HPAI in Kentucky this year.

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More details on these findings will be announced later.

The Fulton County case marks 2022’s second confirmed case of HPAI in a commercial broiler flock in the United States and the third in North America. Previously, the virus was confirmed in a commercial turkey flock in Nova Scotia and another commercial turkey flock in Indiana.

HPAI has also appeared in wild birds in New Hampshire, Delaware, Virginia, Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina and Florida. In Canada, in addition to Nova Scotia, the virus has been found in non-commercial birds in Newfoundland and Labrador.

Avian flu in Virginia backyard flock

Samples from the affected Virginia flock, which included mixed species, were tested at the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services Harrisonburg Regional Animal Health Laboratory, both part of the National Animal Health Laboratory Network. The case was confirmed at the APHIS National Veterinary Services Laboratories (NVSL) in Ames, Iowa. 

APHIS is working closely with state animal health officials in Kentucky and Virginia on joint incident responses. State officials quarantined the affected premises, and birds on the properties will be depopulated to prevent the spread of the disease. Depopulation is complete in Virginia. 

View our continuing coverage of the global avian influenza situation.