The avian influenza was found in a commercial turkey flock in Chesterfield County, South Carolina and is the first confirmed case of this strain in commercial poultry in the US since 2017.
According to APHIS, this HPAI strain mutated from a low pathogenic strain that was found in poultry in that area recently. Samples from the affected flock were tested at the Clemson Veterinary Diagnostic Center, part of the National Animal Laboratory Network, and confirmed at the APHIS National Veterinary Services Laboratories (NVSL) in Ames, Iowa.
The World Organisation for Animal Health reported that 1,583 birds died out of a flock of 34,160 resulting in the remaining 32,577 birds being destroyed.
APHIS also stated that no human cases of this H7N3 avian influenza virus have been detected and there is no immediate public health concern.
It said it is working closely with the South Carolina State Veterinarian’s Office, part of Clemson University, on a joint incident response.
State officials have quarantined the affected premises, and birds on the property were depopulated to prevent the spread of the disease.
APHIS has offered assurances that birds from the flock will not enter the food system, and as part of existing avian influenza response plans, Federal and State partners are working jointly on additional surveillance and testing in the nearby area.