April 01, 2011

Department of Agriculture Releases Test Results on Poultry Virus in Southwest Missouri

The Missouri Department of Agriculture is nearing completion of its investigation of a case of low pathogenic avian influenza in Polk County. Test results provided by USDA confirm "apparent subclinical infection of low pathogenic avian influenza (H7N3)" on the initial flock of meat-type turkeys. On March 25, Missouri's State Veterinarian was notified that preliminary results from routine testing indicated the presence of avian influenza. Biosecurity measures were immediately enacted and the facility was quarantined. Low pathogenic avian influenza is very rarely transmitted to humans and does not pose a health threat or risk to the food supply.

Subsequent tests performed by the National Veterinary Services Laboratory in Ames, Iowa revealed no shedding of the virus. As a result, the adult birds were released from quarantine on March 31 by the USDA Area Veterinarian in Charge and the State Veterinarian and then transported to a Cargill facility for processing. The younger birds on the farm premises were depopulated pursuant to biosecurity protocols.

Avian influenza is a viral disease affecting birds. It occurs naturally and may be spread by wildlife. As a precautionary measure, flocks within six miles of the facility are being tested and monitored.

The Missouri Department of Agriculture and the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services continue to work closely with the USDA to monitor the situation.

For more information on the Missouri Department of Agriculture and its programs, visit mda.mo.gov.