WASHINGTON - Highly pathogenic H5N1 was confirmed in a commercial turkey flock in Dubois County, Ind., the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) of the US Department of Agriculture said. The Indiana State Board of Animal Health (BOAH) said at least 29,000 birds were affected.

Samples from the affected flock were tested at the Indiana Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory at Purdue University, part of the National Animal Health Laboratory Network, and confirmed at the APHIS National Veterinary Services Laboratories (NVSL) in Ames, Iowa, the agency said. Virus isolation is ongoing. This is the first confirmed case of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) in commercial poultry in the United States since 2020. HPAI was last identified in commercial flocks in Indiana in 2016, BOAH said.

“APHIS is working closely with the Indiana Board of Animal Health on a joint incident response,” the agency said. “State officials quarantined the affected premises, and birds on the property were depopulated to prevent the spread of the disease. Birds from the flock will not enter the food system.”

Federal and state agencies are collaborating on additional surveillance and testing in the nearby area as part of existing avian influenza response plans, APHIS said. The USDA also is working with its partners to actively look for the disease in commercial poultry operations, live bird markets and in migratory wild bird populations.

“USDA will report this finding to the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) as well as international trading partners,” APHIS said. “USDA also continues to communicate with trading partners to encourage adherence to OIE standards and minimize trade impacts. OIE trade guidelines call on countries to base trade restrictions on sound science and, whenever possible, limit restrictions to those animals and animal products within a defined region that pose a risk of spreading disease of concern.”

Indiana’s poultry industry ranks third nationally in turkey production, first in duck production, second in table eggs and egg‐laying chickens, and is a significant producer of broiler chickens, according to BOAH. The poultry industry employs more than 14,000 individuals and is valued at $2.5 billion.

APHIS noted that avian influenza does not present an immediate public health concern, and no human cases of avian influenza viruses have been detected in the United States.