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USDA Confirms Case Of Avian Flu In Southern Indiana

The USDA has confirmed a case of deadly avian influenza in a commercial turkey flock in Dubois County, Indiana. The case is the first to be diagnosed since June 2015.

The agency says the strain (H7N8) is different than the ones that forced millions of birds to be killed during last year's outbreak.

The affected facility has been quarantined and workers will kill the flock to prevent the spread of the disease. The USDA says federal and state partners are working on additional testing in the area.

Bird flu is most commonly spread by ducks and geese. There are no known cases of infections in humans.

The USDA says last year's outbreak cost federal taxpayers over $950 million. Since then, the agency has developed a preparedness and response plan to address future outbreaks of bird flu. The plan includes improving biosecurity at farms and improving the ability to rapidly detect avian influenza.

Governor Mike Pence says he's directed all relevant state agencies to use their resources to contain and resolve the issue.

"Multiple state agencies have been heavily focused for nearly a year on the necessary steps in this type of event, including the State Board of Animal Health, Indiana State Department of Agriculture, Indiana Department of Homeland Security, Indiana Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory, Indiana Department of Environmental Management, Indiana State Poultry Association, and several private sector partners," Pence said in a statement. "Hoosiers can be assured that we are taking all precautions to contain the situation and minimize the effects to Indiana’s robust poultry industry."

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