Update on Highly Pathogenic H5N1 Avian Influenza in Indiana


Update on Highly Pathogenic H5N1 Avian Influenza in Indiana

About 29,000 birds have been depopulated since highly pathogenic H5N1 avian influenza was discovered this week in southern Indiana.

Denise Derrer Spears, public information director with the Indiana State Board of Animal Health, says samples were collected and sent to the Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory at Purdue University after 100 birds died on a commercial turkey farm in Dubois County on Monday.

She says because the entire flock – 29,000 birds – was depopulated, no known infected birds are on the farm as of today.

The Indiana State Board of Animal Health has created a control area around the farm. Seventeen other poultry farms are under quarantine and must test weekly until the roughly six-mile circle is lifted. Derrer Spears says there is also a surveillance zone that encompasses an almost 12.5-mile circle. Commercial flocks in that space are being tested less frequently to meet standards for assuring international trading partners

The board has reached out to 35 known hobby and backyard poultry owners and those flocks are being tested.

“As we make contact, we are finding that some no longer have birds, but others in the area are contacting us,” she says. “That will be ongoing in the Control Area.”

She says monitoring seems to be going well. BOAH is working with the Indiana Department of Natural Resources to determine if any large populations of wild birds are in the area for testing.

Any producers with poultry, large or small flocks, should contact BOAH if they see any clinical signs of avian influenza in their birds. If testing is needed, the board will coordinate complimentary testing.

This is the first case of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) in commercial poultry in the United States since 2020. The last significant finding of HPAI in Indiana was in Dubois County in 2016, when 11 poultry farms were affected by the H7N8 strain of the disease that resulted in a loss of more than 400,000 birds.

To report illness or death in flocks call the USDA Healthy Birds Hotline at 866-536-7593.

Click here for updates from the Indiana State Board of Animal Health.

Avian influenza does not present a food safety risk. Poultry and eggs are safe to eat when handled and cooked properly. No human cases of avian influenza viruses have been detected in the United States.