MERCED, Calif. – Low-pathogenic H7N3 avian influenza struck a third commercial turkey farm in Merced County, according to a report from the World Animal Health Organization (OIE).

The report states that a commercial tom turkey flock exhibited coughing with a slight increase in mortality. Samples were submitted for laboratory testing and were confirmed positive for North American H7N3. At least 61,000 birds were exposed to the virus. Samples taken at 10 associated farms returned negative results, according to the report.

The farm was placed under quarantine, according to the report, and the Animal Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) and the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) launched a comprehensive epidemiological investigation.

Highly pathogenic strains of avian influenza have been reported in Missouri, Arkansas, Minnesota, Washington, Oregon, California and Idaho. At least seven commercial poultry farms have been infected with bird flu.