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Avian flu detected in Indiana poultry flock

This is the first documented case of highly pathogenic H5N1 avian influenza in the U.S. since 2020.

February 9, 2022

2 Min Read
young turkeys on a commercial farm
AVIAN FLU RETURNS: USDA informed the Indiana State Board of Animal Health this week that a case of avian flu was detected in a flock in southern Indiana. It is the first case in the U.S. since 2020 and the first in Indiana since 2016.ene/Getty Images

The Indiana State Board of Animal Health is once again employing surveillance procedures that were fine-tuned during the avian flu outbreak in southern Indiana in 2016. Eleven poultry farms were impacted in that outbreak, resulting in the loss of more than 400,000 birds.

Denise Derrer Spears, public information director for BOAH, notes that BOAH was recently notified by USDA’s National Veterinary Services Laboratory that poultry from a commercial turkey farm in Dubois County, Ind., has tested positive for highly pathogenic H5N1 avian influenza. This marks the first documented case of this disease anywhere in the U.S. since 2020, and the first case in Indiana since the 2016 outbreak.

Spears reports that BOAH has set up a 10-kilometer “control area,” with the index farm where the positive case was detected at the center. This is the same strategy BOAH used successfully in 2016. Farms within the circle are quarantined until testing is complete. No other cases on other farms have been detected so far. BOAH will assist with depopulating the affected farm.

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.

Hobby poultry owners are encouraged to practice good biosecurity and be aware of the signs of avian influenza, and report illness and/or death to the USDA Healthy Birds Hotline: 866-536-7593. Callers will be routed to a state or federal veterinarian in Indiana for a case assessment. Dead birds should be double-bagged and refrigerated for possible testing.

Signs of the disease include sudden death without clinical signs; lack of energy or appetite; decreased egg production; soft-shelled or misshapen eggs; swelling or purple discoloration of head, eyelids, comb, hocks; nasal discharge; coughing; sneezing; incoordination; and diarrhea. A resource for backyard bird health information is online.

BOAH takes this detection of avian flu very seriously since poultry is a valuable industry within the state.

Situation updates and status reports about ongoing avian influenza activities in Indiana, along with critical disease-related information, will be posted online at

Source: BOAH, which is solely responsible for the information provided and is wholly owned by the source. Informa Business Media and all its subsidiaries are not responsible for any of the content contained in this information asset.

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