WASHINGTON- The Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) of the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) confirmed that highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) was found on a commercial poultry farm with 1.2 million birds in New Castle County, Del.

The samples from the flock were tested at the University of Delaware’s Allen Laboratory in Newark, Del., part of the National Animal Health Laboratory Network, and confirmed at the APHIS National Veterinary Services Laboratories (NVSL) in Ames, Iowa.

“We have taken immediate action to contain this disease and will continue to work with poultry owners, the industry, and our laboratory partners to protect against its spread,” said Michael Scuse, Delaware’s secretary of agriculture. “This appears to be an isolated case, with no reports of disease among our chicken industry.” 

APHIS said it is working closely with state animal health officials in Delaware on a joint incident response. 

“State officials quarantined the affected premises, and birds on the property will be depopulated to prevent the spread of the disease,” the agency said. “Birds from the flock will not enter the food system.”

Reports were filed in the last few days on HPAI from two non-commercial backyard flocks in New York and Maine. 

The Indiana State Board of Animal Health (BOAH) also continued to provide updates on commercial flocks that are being depopulated in Dubois County.

The USDA added surveillance of wild birds after highly pathogenic avian influenza was confirmed in wild birds in several states.