Bird flu at a Dubois County turkey farm not same as 2015 strain

Dubois County’s case of bird flu at a turkey farm is the first in the US in over six months. (Photo from

Federal officials say a bird flu virus that is different from the one that ravaged turkey and chicken farms last summer has been found in Indiana.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture said Friday the H7N8 flu strain had been confirmed at a commercial turkey farm in Dubois county and his highly contagious for birds, not humans.  It’s the first case of this disease in a commercial flock.

Last year’s H5N2 virus outbreak began spreading widely in the spring, not winter, and led to the deaths of 48 million birds.

Indiana Board of Animal Health spokeswoman Denise Derrer says the Dubois County farm has about 60,000 turkeys and the flock is being euthanized to prevent the disease from spreading.

She said quarantine is in place for commercial poultry farms and backyard flocks within a nearly 6-mile radius.

State officials say this does not present a food safety risk and poultry and eggs are safe to eat.  They encourage backyard poultry owners to be aware of the signs of the avian flu and report illness or death of birds to the USDA Health Birds Hotline.  Dead birds should be double bagged and refrigerated for possible testing.