The Missouri Department of Agriculture (MDA) has confirmed that a turkey growing facility in Moniteau County has been infected by avian influenza. It is the second outbreak of avian influenza in Missouri: on March 8 H5N2 avian influenza was discovered at a grower facility in Jasper County.
The facility where the current outbreak has been discovered houses 21,000 turkeys. The MDA is continuing its coordinated response with USDA, state health officials and industry partners.
USDA's National Veterinary Services Laboratory (NVSL) reported the Jasper County facility was the first time H5N2 had been detected in Missouri.
No threat to public or food supply
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.
Ensure the virus has not spread
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, according to MDA. Following USDA protocols, surveillance and testing procedures are underway at properties near the affected facilities to ensure the virus has not spread.
Workers who may have been exposed to the virus
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.
No immediate public health concern
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, according to MDA. 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.
Reporting sick birds
MDA states: "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 their 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 special web site.