The announcement was made Sunday by the US Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service. The disease was found at a facility in Tennessee.
The outbreak marks the first confirmed case of HPAI in commercial poultry this year in the US, said the department.
The flock included 73,500 birds and was located on the Mississippi flyway, the department said. Sample birds from the affected flock were examined at the Kord Animal Health Diagnostic Laboratory in Tennessee and checked at the APHIS National Veterinary Services Laboratories in Iowa.
“Virus isolation is ongoing, and NVSL [National Veterinary Services Laboratories] expects to characterize the neuraminidase protein, or ‘N-type,’ of the virus within 48 hours,” the department said.
The Department of Agriculture in Tennessee is working with poultry employees at the facility to check precaution and prevent the spread of the disease, said the USDA.
Strains of avian influenza (AI) can be passed by wild birds, even if those animal do not appear ill, the department said.
The USDA reminded commercial producers and backyard enthusiasts to practice good biosecurity measures including: preventing interaction between their birds and wild flocks; reporting sick birds; and contacting state or federal officials regarding unusual bird deaths.