Tests confirm AI in Arkansas

by Erica Shaffer
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BOONE COUNTY, Ark. – Highly pathogenic H5N2 was confirmed in a commercial turkey flock in Boone County, the Arkansas Livestock and Poultry Commission reported.

The agency said it was notified March 8 of a suspected case of avian influenza in the northern region of the state. The birds were quarantined; and samples were taken and sent to the state veterinary diagnostic lab for tests. The samples tested positive for H5N2 and were then sent to the National Veterinary Services Lab (NVSL) of the US Department of Agriculture for final confirmation, according to the commission. NVSL confirmed the presence of H5N2.

The commission said it will follow USDA protocol and cull the infected turkey flock. The agency also said it will implement surveillance and testing procedures at properties near the affected turkey farm to prevent the spread of the virus.

The finding comes after the Missouri Department of Agriculture confirmed the presence of H5N2 at two turkey facilities — one in Moniteau County and the other in Jasper County. State agriculture officials quarantined both facilities and culled more than 40,000 turkeys. The virus also was confirmed in Pope County, Minn. The finding was the first confirmed in the Mississippi Flyway, a migratory route encompassing three provinces in Canada and 14 states including Minnesota, Missouri and Arkansas.
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