High Path Avian Influenza

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Two additional turkey farms test positive for High Path Avian Influenza; discovered in the increased surveillance zone


RALEIGH – Two additional commercial turkey operations in Johnston County have tested positive for High Path Avian Influenza. These farms were identified during increased surveillance following the first positive HPAI case and are located in the 10 kilometer or 6.2 mile zone identified as a result of that positive case.

The positive samples were identified by the N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services Veterinary Diagnostic lab in Raleigh. The samples have been sent to the USDA APHIS National Veterinary Services Lab in Ames, Iowa to confirm the positive result.

“The two additional flocks totaling about 28,500 turkeys are in the process of being depopulated and a 10-kilometer zones will be set up around these new sites to test nearby farms for the virus,” said State Veterinarian Mike Martin. “Most of this new zone will fall within our original 10-kilometer zone. As a state we have known that the risk for HPAI was high this season. We have seen other states with cases and have known since mid-January it was present in our wild bird population.

“We continue to urge poultry owners to do their part by practicing strict biosecurity and reporting sick or dying birds right away to your local veterinarian, the N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services Veterinary Division, 919-707-3250, or the N.C. Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory System 919-733-3986.”

Additional updates to the current High Path Avian influenza disease event will be posted to www.ncagr.gov/avianflu/newsroom.htm.

This type of HPAI virus is considered a low risk to people according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, but is highly contagious to other birds, including commercial and backyard flocks of poultry. The virus is also not considered a food safety threat and infected birds do not enter the food supply. Depopulated flocks are composted on site to prevent the spread of the virus.

Composting is the natural degradation of organic resources (such as poultry carcasses) by microorganisms. Composting is effective in killing a variety of diseases including avian influenza.

Avian Influenza can be inactivated in 10 minutes at 140ºF or 90 minutes at 133ºF. Microbial activity within a well-constructed compost pile can generate and maintain temperatures ranging from 130ºF to 150ºF for several weeks, which is enough to inactivate the AI virus. Composting is an approved disposal method because it contains the disease and limits off-farm disease transmission, limits the risks of groundwater and air pollution, inactivates pathogens in carcasses and litter and helps limit public concerns over disease exposure.

To learn the signs of avian influenza, biosecurity tips and more information go to www.ncagr.gov/avianflu.

CONTACT: Heather Overton, assistant director
NCDA&CS Public Affairs Division
919-707-3006, heather.overton@ncagr.gov

**Editor’s note: A dashboard with current information for this HPAI disease event can be found at www.ncagr.gov/avianflu/newsroom.htm. Information will be updated as needed.