Low pathogenic avian flu found in Missouri turkeys

Low pathogenic avian influenza has been detected in a commercial turkey flock in Jasper County, Missouri.

Roy Graber Headshot
(Courtesy Iowa Turkey Federation)
(Courtesy Iowa Turkey Federation)

Low pathogenic avian influenza has been detected in a commercial turkey flock in Jasper County, Missouri.

The discovery marks the first confirmed case of avian influenza in the United States in 2018.

The avian influenza case, which the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) confirmed on March 3 and reported to the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) on March 6, was discovered in a flock of seemingly healthy turkeys that were not showing any signs of illness.

According to the IOE report, the turkeys were being given routine pre-slaughter testing for H5/H7 avian influenza when a low pathogenic form of H7N1 avian influenza was found.

There were approximately 20,000 birds in the flock. According to the OIE, the turkeys will be depopulated through controlled marketing.

The USDA Animal Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) and the Missouri Department of Agriculture (MDA) are conducting a comprehensive epidemiological investigation and have implemented enhanced surveillance and testing related to this finding. Two additional commercial poultry premises located within the 10-kilometer zone were tested negative for influenza virus.

Jasper County is in the far southwestern corner of the state, and the 10-kilometer zone includes part of Cherokee County, Kansas.

OIE stated that it would provide weekly updates on the avian influenza situation in the United States.

Previous avian influenza cases in Jasper County

Jasper County has had two other confirmed cases of avian influenza in recent years. However, all three cases were of different serotypes.

On March 8, 2015, 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.

Another Jasper County avian influenza case was reported by MDA on April 30, 2016. In that instance, there were 39,000 commercial turkeys affected by low pathogenic H5N1 avian influenza. That particular strain of the virus was of North American wild bird lineage.

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