Federal officials have confirmed highly pathogenic avian influenza in a chicken flock in Webster County, Mo.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Veterinary Services Laboratory confirmed the presence of highly pathogenic influenza (HPAI) in the chicken layer flock. Samples were delivered to the NVSL in Iowa for testing after a sudden increase in mortality in the flock. HPAI is known to be deadly in domesticated poultry. Missouri Department of Agriculture veterinary officials have quarantined the affected premises, and birds on the property have been depopulated.
Missouri saw 10 positive HPAI cases earlier in 2022 – six commercial farms and four backyard flocks – impacting nearly 435,000 birds. There were nearly 9,000 laying hens depopulated in this most recent case.
MDA Animal Health Division employees are working with federal partners on additional surveillance and testing in the areas around the affected flock.
All poultry producers are encouraged to tighten their biosecurity practices around the farm. Producers should prevent contact between their birds and wild birds, and report sick birds or an unusual increase in death loss to a local veterinarian or the state veterinarian’s office at the Missouri Department of Agriculture at (573) 751-3377.
“Avian influenza does not present a food safety risk,” said Director of Agriculture Chris Chinn. “Poultry and eggs are safe to eat when handled and cooked properly.”
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the recent HPAI detections do not present an immediate public health concern. No human cases of these avian influenza viruses have been detected in the United States.
Situation updates of ongoing avian influenza activities in Missouri, as well as important biosecurity and virus-related information, will be posted online at this link.
For more information about the Missouri Department of Agriculture and its programs, visit the Department online at this link.