JOHNSON COUNTY, Ind. – Avian influenza has been found at a small flock in Johnson County.
The Indiana State Board of Animal Health said the flock included 41 ducks, chickens and peafowl.
Some of the birds died last week and the owner sent four to the Indiana Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory at Purdue University for testing.
In addition to the unexplained deaths, the birds were experiencing diarrhea, according to Denise Derrer Spears, a spokesperson for the Board of Animal Health.
“The owner did the right thing in having them tested,” she said.
Sites in Dubois, Elkhart and Greene counties have also tested positive. Those were commercial duck and turkey farms, according to the Board of Animal Health.
The Indiana Department of Natural Resources has reported bird flu in redhead duck, bald eagle and red-tailed hawk populations in Dubois, Starke, Miami and Johnson counties.
Nationally, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention identified avian influenza among wild birds in 33 states and among poultry in 29 states. There are no human cases reported and federal health officials have said the bird flu poses little risk to the public.
State officials are urging hobby flock owners to practice good biosecurity. That means preventing interaction with wild birds and wearing shoes into the poultry coop that aren’t worn anywhere else. They should also thoroughly wash their hands and keep a close eye on birds to see if they’re exhibiting any signs of illness.
Anyone who sees signs of highly pathogenic avian influenza can call the Healthy Birds Hotline at 866-536-7593. A state or federal veterinarian will talk to the caller to assess the case and determine the next steps. Testing will be provided at no charge.