Low-path Avian Influenza H7N1 detected at Missouri turkey farm

March 6, 2018

The virus was detected during routine preslaughter tests on Feb 26 for H5 and H7 viruses, and no signs of clinical illness or an increase in turkey deaths were reported at the farm. Jasper County is in southwestern Missouri.

The farm where the virus was detected houses 20,000 birds, which will be depopulated through controlled marketing, a strategy that allows poultry that are infected with or exposed to low-pathogenic H5 and H7 viruses to move to market on a limited basis, according to state response plans.

Tests are slated to further characterize the virus, based on virus isolation. The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) Animal Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) and the Missouri Department of Agriculture are conducting an in-depth epidemiological investigation and have stepped up surveillance and testing. Two other commercial poultry farms located within 10 kilometers of the farm have tested negative for the virus.

Missouri's outbreak marks the first detection of low-pathogenic H7 in the United States this year. In the early spring of 2017, four southeastern states—Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, and Tennessee—reported outbreaks of low-pathogenic H7N9 in poultry. The strain isn't related to the H7N9 virus circulating in China.