RALEIGH – A commercial turkey operation in Lenoir County has tested positive for High Path Avian Influenza. The positive sample was first identified by the N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services Veterinary Diagnostic Lab in Raleigh and confirmed by the USDA APHIS National Veterinary Services Lab in Ames, Iowa.
This is the first case of high path avian influenza in commercial poultry in North Carolina since 2022 when HPAI was found at nine poultry farms in Johnston and Wayne counties.
“It is unfortunate that we have this outbreak in a North Carolina poultry farm at this time,” said Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler, “but we have handled this before, we have trained, and we have good partners. I am confident that we are as prepared as any state in the country to handle this.”
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.
“With HPAI in the wild bird population and other cases around the country, commercial operators and backyard flock owners have remained on heightened watch for any signs of the virus in their flocks,” said State Veterinarian Mike Martin. “Under HPAI protocols, we will be actively testing other flocks within the 10- kilometer zone or about 6.2 miles in collaboration with our federal and industry partners.
“The threat of high path avian influenza is statewide,” said Martin. “Our poultry population is at high risk. Commercial operations and backyard flock owners should continue to follow strict biosecurity measures including keeping birds enclosed without access to wild birds or other domestic flocks. If your flock is experiencing a sudden higher-than-normal mortality rate, report it 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.”
More information on HPAI in general and a listing of all N.C. cases since 2022 is online at https://www.ncagr.gov/divisions/veterinary/AvianInfluenza.