Bird flu discovered in Elkhart County duck farm

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Avian flu has been detected at a northern Indiana duck farm, state officials said Thursday, marking the spread of the disease to a third species of poultry.

Laboratory tests of a commercial flock of ducks in Elkhart County came back as presumptive positive for the virus, the Indiana State Board of Animal Health said. The samples are being verified at the US Department of Agriculture’s National Veterinary Services Laboratory in Iowa.

The duck flock numbers about 4,000 birds, the agency said.

The animal health board, in an announcement on Thursday evening, did not say whether the ducks would be destroyed, as happened with six turkey farms in Dubois and Greene counties of southern Indiana.

So far this year there have been cases of avian flu in 24 states affecting chickens and turkeys.

The pending test results should indicate whether it is the same strain of the virus that has been found elsewhere and whether it is highly pathogenic.

Animal Health Council staff have contacted known hobby/backyard poultry owners in the area to schedule bird testing there, he said.

The agency said bird flu does not present an immediate public health concern and that no human cases of bird flu virus have been detected in the United States.

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