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.
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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.