Avian Influenza Confirmed in Jasper Co.

Avian Influenza Confirmed in Jasper Co.
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The USDA and the Missouri Department of Agriculture have confirmed the presence of avian influenza in Jasper County.

When a case of avian influenza spread through Southwest Missouri last year, more than 30,000 turkeys were killed to stop it’s spread. As of now, health officials say the most recent case doesn’t look to be that serious.

“There are numerous species of bird flues,” Tony Moehr of the Jasper Co. Health Department said. “And all of them don’t necessarily make people ill or anything like that.”

The USDA says it’s confirmed the presence of low pathogenic H5N1 avian influenza in a commercial turkey flock in Jasper County.

“Pretty unlikely to spread to human population or any individual works or anything like that,” Moehr said.

Because this is a low-pathogenic strain, health officials are saying the average person or even turkey farmer should not be alarmed.

The USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service released a statement saying, in part, “The h5 strain is different from the viruses which caused the significant outbreaks in commercial poultry operations last year and does not indicate that another outbreak is any more likely.”

Still, state officials quarantined the affected premises and the birds will be de-populated to prevent the spread of the disease. The USDA says all commercial flocks within a 10 kilometer radius of the affected premises have tested negative for avian influenza.

“In this particular case I don’t think there’s any reason for anyone to be alarmed about their personal safety or anything like that,” Moehr said.

USDA officials say there is no food safety concern. Turkeys from the infected flock will not enter the food system.

There were no recorded illnesses, locally, after last year’s outbreak of “bird flu”.