Bird flu strain detected in NE Indiana's Whitley County

05/21/2015 14:40 | 2

WHITLEY COUNTY, Ind. (21Alive) - The Indiana State Board of Animal Health has been notified that birds from a backyard hobby flock have tested positive for H5N8 Avian Influenza.

When told that HSADL has found the samples negative for bird flu, he said, "In that case, it will be a new challenge for United States".

"The Centers for Disease Control has said there is a very low risk to humans...".

There have been no cases of people getting sick from these particular strains, according to the USDA.

"It’s also important to note that it is not a food safety risk".

The detection of H5N8 avian flu on the Whitley County farm is the first time that particular strain has been found so far east. The strain was detected earlier this year in California and Oregon.

"This is a significant finding for the fact that we have not had a highly pathogenic avian influenza in Indiana before, " she said. "It was unfortunate for this one small flock, but that is what it's limited to".

The Indiana State Board of Animal Health is now trying to figure out the source of the infection and working to prevent it from spreading. How it got here we do not know, " Derrer said. "They've really upped their attention to those kinds of problems". Ken Jones, Emergency management Director says while the closest case to the Rochester area is in Steel County, it’s important backyard and pet bird owners are diligent when it comes to caring for their flocks.

Indiana is the nation’s leading commercial producer of ducks and among the top producers of eggs and turkeys.

What's more intriguing about these unusual deaths is that a month after the first outbreak of bird flu in Hyderabad, all three suspected causes-infectious coryza, chronic respiratory disease (CRD) and sunstroke-have already been ruled out.

Brennan said the industry contributes more than $4.25 billion to the state's economy and creates more than 7,000 jobs.

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