New Bird Flu Strain H7N8 Hits Turkey Farm In Indiana


H7N8 – a new strain of bird flu virus – has shut down an Indiana poultry farm and hit a commercial flock of turkeys, the U.S. Department of Agriculture confirmed Friday.

This is the first confirmed avian influenza case at a poultry farm since the multi-state outbreak that hit the country last year. The USDA confirmed the incident Friday morning, prompting workers to isolate the farm and start slaughtering the birds and destroying their carcasses.

“This particular case is an H7N8 virus,” said Dr. T.J. Myers, associate deputy administrator of the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, dubbing it a “significant” virus that does not entail an immediate response for containment and transmission prevention.

Dr. Myers clarified that the virus strain is different from that of last year’s outbreak: the pathogenic H5N2 bird flu that killed around 48 million birds, caused traders to shun U.S. poultry products, and drove up egg prices.

The H7N8 strain identified in this new outbreak struck a Dubois County farm in Indiana. An official agriculture census in 2012 noted that Dubois Country sheltered around 1.4 million turkeys and the top county in the state for poultry production.

Officials said, however, that they do not know of any case in this recent outbreak in why the avian flu has been transferred to humans.

The exact cause of last year’s outbreak remains unknown. Dr. Myers said they did “quite a bit of epidemiological work,” and that there is no single factor to explain it.

Read More: Techtimes

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