USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service confirmed it found the highly pathogenic H5N8 avian influenza in a backyard mixed-poultry flock in Whitley County, Indiana. The flu strain is different from the HPAI H5N2 virus that has been detected in multiple states throughout the Mississippi flyway. The H5N8 strain had previously only been confirmed in the Pacific flyway.
APHIS is working closely with the Indiana State Board of Animal Health to respond to the finding. State officials quarantined the affected premises and birds on the property will be depopulated to prevent the spread of the disease.
The government agency said Federal and State partners continue to work jointly on additional surveillance and testing in the nearby area.
Since December of last year, government officials at USDA have identified a number of cases of highly pathogenic avian influenza in the Pacific, Central and Mississippi flyways. The disease has been found in wild bird and continues to spread in backyard and commercial poultry flocks across multiple states.
As of May 13, USDA reported 156 detections of the virus affecting nearly 33 million birds.
APHIS is working closely with the Minnesota Board of Animal Health on a joint incident response.
According to APHIS, the HPAI H5N8 virus originated in Asia and spread rapidly along wild bird migratory pathways during 2014, including the Pacific flyway. Here the virus mixed with North American avian influenza viruses, creating new mixed-origin viruses which is highly pathogenic to poultry.
Since the outbreak, prices for eggs and turkey have begun to rise as the virus claims more birds across the country. According to the Associated Press, the cost of a carton of eggs in the Midwest is up 17 percent since April while the price of turkey breast is up 10 percent. However, the cost of eggs used in processed goods has increased as much as 63 percent.