Tuesday, February 20, 2024

Commercial turkey flock tests positive for High Path Avian Influenza

Feb 20, 2024

RALEIGH – A commercial turkey operation in Duplin County has tested positive for High Path Avian Influenza. HPAI was first detected by the N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services Veterinary Diagnostic Lab in Raleigh at the end of last week, and confirmed by the USDA APHIS National Veterinary Services Lab in Ames, Iowa on Feb. 20.

This is the second case of high path avian influenza in commercial poultry in North Carolina this month.

“I cannot emphasize enough how important it is that all poultry owners and commercial operators monitor their birds closely and maintain strict biosecurity measures,” said Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler. “This virus poses a threat to our poultry population statewide.” 

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.

“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,” said Martin. 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.