INDIANAPOLIS – Animal health officials in Indiana identified the H5 highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) virus at a second turkey farm in Dubois County. The Indiana State Board of Animal Health (BOAH) said the farm, which is under quarantine, houses 26,473 birds.

The flock was tested after the owner noticed water consumption by the birds dropped dramatically which is a clinical sign of avian influenza infection. BOAH said the case is considered a presumptive-positive case; samples from the flock were sent to the USDA National Veterinary Services Laboratory (NVSL) in Iowa for verification. Meanwhile, the birds were culled.

BOAH announced on Feb. 11 that 29,000 turkeys were culled at a commercial farm in Dubois County after H5N1 was confirmed at the premises.

“The close proximity of the second farm to the index site (Dubois1) means the established 10-km control area will remain the same,” BOAH said. “The control area circle is primarily in Dubois County and a portion of northern Spencer County. All commercial poultry flocks (18 total) within the control area are under quarantine for the duration of this event (i.e., until the control area is lifted).

“Poultry farms in the control area have completed the first round of surveillance testing for HPAI to ensure the virus is not present in the area beyond the index farm,” the agency said. “Testing of the control area farms will continue on a weekly basis.”

BOAH also established a surveillance zone of an additional 10 km beyond the control are boundary. Commercial poultry operations are not under quarantine but are tested regularly until the control area is lifted.

“BOAH staff continue to reach out to known hobby/backyard poultry owners in the control area to schedule testing of birds to ensure the virus is not present,” the agency said. “To date, 25 hobby flocks have been sampled; laboratory testing is not yet complete.”

Test results are pending from a third commercial turkey farm in Greene County, Ind., outside of the established control and surveillance zones. BOAH said 48,000 turkeys are affected and depopulation of the birds is ongoing.

The US Department of Agriculture increased surveillance of wild birds after highly pathogenic avian influenza was confirmed in wild birds in several states in the Atlantic Flyway. The Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) announced the discovery of HPAI in a flock of broiler chickens in Fulton County, Ky. Tyson Foods confirmed the chickens were being raised at one of its production farms.

And the presence of HPAI was confirmed in a backyard flock of mixed species of birds in Fauquier County, Va.