The U.S. Department of Agriculture reports additional cases of H5N1 highly pathogenic avian influenza have now been reported in Kentucky and Virginia.
The cases follow an initial discovery of the virus in turkeys at a Dubois County commercial farm.
The USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service said a flock of commercial broiler chickens in Fulton County, Kentucky, and a backyard flock of mixed species birds in Fauquier County, Virginia have tested positive for the virus.
Samples from two Kentucky flocks were tested at the Breathitt Veterinary Center Laboratory and samples from the affected Virginia flock were tested at the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services Harrisonburg Regional Animal Health Laboratory, both part of the National Animal Health Laboratory Network.
The Virginia and Fulton County, Kentucky cases were confirmed at the APHIS National Veterinary Services Laboratories in Ames, Iowa. The Breathitt Veterinary Center Laboratory also obtained a non-negative avian influenza test result on the samples from a Webster County turkey flock, and NVSL confirmation is pending.
State officials quarantined the affected premises, and birds on the properties will be depopulated to prevent the spread of the disease. The USDA said birds from the flocks will not enter the food system.
The cases in Indiana since were identified Feb. 7. About 29,000 turkeys were culled to prevent the spread of the virus, and a 10-kilometer control area was established around the farm. Birds from 18 flocks within the control area have been quarantined.
According to the World Organization for Animal Health, the H5N1 virus has spread over 40 countries over the last six months.