March 09, 2015

MDA confirms avian influenza in second Missouri facility

No public health concern as no human cases detected in the United States

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – The Missouri Department of Agriculture (MDA) has confirmed that a turkey growing facility in Moniteau County has been infected by avian influenza. The facility, located at 35764 Newkirk Road in Fortuna, houses 21,000 turkeys.  The MDA is continuing its coordinated response with USDA, state health officials and industry partners. 

Previously, on March 8, the Missouri Department of Agriculture confirmed that turkeys at a grower facility in Jasper County, with a commercial turkey flock of 30,100, had been infected with H5N2 avian influenza. That facility is located at 30213 Thyme Road in Asbury.

USDA’s National Veterinary Services Laboratory (NVSL) reported the Jasper County facility was the first time H5N2 had been detected in Missouri.

Outbreaks of a strain of avian flu have occurred in Minnesota, Oregon, Washington and Idaho and are not considered to be a threat to public health or the food supply.

MDA continues to follow strict protocols to contain and eliminate the disease. The facilities were immediately quarantined and the remaining turkeys in the involved flocks will be depopulated and will not enter the food system. Following USDA protocols, surveillance and testing procedures are underway at properties near the affected facilities to ensure the virus has not spread. 

As a precaution, the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) is reaching out to monitor workers who may have been exposed to the virus. MDA and USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) have initiated an incident command response, and APHIS will assist MDA in overseeing the depopulation of the remaining birds on the property to prevent the spread of the disease.

While lethal to birds, no human cases of these avian influenza viruses have been detected in the United States, Canada, or internationally, and there is no immediate public health concern.
The specimens from Moniteau County were tested by the state animal health diagnostic lab in Springfield and the APHIS National Veterinary Services Laboratories in Ames, Iowa confirmed the finding. 

All bird owners, whether commercial producers or backyard enthusiasts, need to continue practicing good biosecurity, preventing contact between their birds and wild birds, and reporting sick birds or unusual bird deaths to your veterinarian and the Missouri Department of Agriculture’s Animal Health division at (573) 751-3377. Additional information about avian influenza can be found on the Missouri Department of Agriculture’s web site.