Highly pathogenic avian influenza confirmed in Mo. poultry flock

Federal officials confirmed highly pathogenic avian influenza in a chicken flock in southwest...
Federal officials confirmed highly pathogenic avian influenza in a chicken flock in southwest Missouri.(WDAM Staff)
Published: Nov. 23, 2022 at 12:04 PM CST
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WEBSTER COUNTY, Mo. (KFVS) - Federal officials confirmed highly pathogenic avian influenza in a chicken flock in southwest Missouri.

According to a release from the Missouri Department of Agriculture, after a sudden increase in deaths in a flock in Webster County, samples were sent to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Veterinary Services Laboratory in Iowa. They confirmed the presence of HPAI.

They said HPAI is known to be deadly in domesticated poultry.

Missouri Department of Agriculture veterinary officials quarantined the affected area, and birds on the property were depopulated.

According to the department, Missouri saw 10 positive HPAI cases earlier in 2022, six commercial farms and four backyard flocks, that impacted nearly 435,000 birds. In this most recent case, they said nearly 9,000 laying hens were depopulated.

All poultry farmers are encouraged to prevent contact between their birds and wild birds, and report sick birds or an unusual increase in deaths to a local veterinarian or the state’s veterinarian’s office at 573-751-3377.

“Avian influenza does not present a food safety risk,” Director of Agriculture Chris Chinn said in the release. “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.