The United States Department of Agriculture notified World animal health organization OIE on the 16th of March of multiple low pathogenic avian influenza (H7N3) infections in a turkey operation in the east of the USA.
Animal health inspectors found 3 positive farms with a total of 90,000 susceptible birds in 2 counties in the state of North Carolina. 5 additional commercial poultry premises have been quarantined and sampled for avian influenza virus. Results of these farms are pending.
The infection in Anson and Union county was found as part of routine surveillance for H5/H7 Avian Influenza. H7 low pathogenic avian influenza (LPAI) was first detected in a commercial turkey breeder and then in 2 turkey meat flocks. Sequencing determined subtype/pathotype of H7N3 on all premises.
Clinical signs noted: slight drop in egg production in turkey breeder flock.
The plan is to euthanize the confirmed positive flocks by a foam method and dispose of the carcasses. The USDA Animal Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) and the North Carolina Department of Agriculture are conducting a comprehensive epidemiological investigation and have implemented enhanced surveillance and testing related to this finding. The source of the infections is not clear at this moment in time.