Virginia has had its first case of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) in a commercial poultry flock for the current outbreak.

According to information from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), the presence of the virus was confirmed on January 19 in a commercial meat turkey flock in Rockingham County. There were 25,300 turkeys involved.

Samples from the flock tested positive at the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS) Regional Animal Health Laboratory in Harrisonburg, part of the National Animal Health Laboratory Network. Samples were also sent to the APHIS National Veterinary Services Laboratories in Ames, Iowa for further confirmation.

VDACS is working closely with the Virginia Poultry Federation, and USDA APHIS on a joint incident response. State officials quarantined the affected premises and are performing additional surveillance and testing within a 10-kilometer radius around the affected flock. 

Rockingham County is in the northern part of the state and shares a border with West Virginia.

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With this case, Virginia becomes the 28th state to have a confirmed case of HPAI during the 2022-23 outbreak. Of those states, Virginia now ranks 23rd nationwide in terms of the number of commercial birds to have been lost during the present HPAI outbreak.

Prior to this instance, Virginia had only had HPAI detections in backyard flocks.

The Rockingham County case is also the first case of HPAI in a commercial turkey flock of 2023. So far, the only other commercial operations to be affected by HPAI this year, according to APHIS, are a pair of upland gamebird operations in Kansas – one in Anderson County and the other in Michell County.

To learn more about HPAI cases in commercial poultry flocks in the United States and Canada, see an interactive map on WATTPoultry.com. 

Read our ongoing coverage of the global avian influenza outbreak.