New case of avian flu found in Duplin County

RALEIGH, N.C. (WITN) – A commercial turkey flock in Duplin County has tested positive for high-path avian influenza.

According to the N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, the case is the second case of high-path avian influenza in a commercial flock in North Carolina in two weeks, the first being a commercial turkey flock in neighboring Lenoir County.

The department also said the two cases are the first of high-path avian influenza in a commercial flock in North Carolina since 2022 when it was found at nine poultry farms in Johnston and Wayne counties.

“I cannot emphasize enough how important it is that all poultry owners and commercial operators monitor their birds closely and maintain strict biosecurity measures,” said Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler. “This virus poses a threat to our poultry population statewide.”

This type of avian flu is considered a low risk to people according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control but is highly contagious to other birds, including commercial and backyard flocks of poultry.

“With HPAI in the wild bird population and other cases around the country, commercial operators and backyard flock owners have remained on heightened watch for any signs of the virus in their flocks,” said State Veterinarian Mike Martin. “Under HPAI protocols, we will be actively testing other flocks within the 10-kilometer zone or about 6.2 miles in collaboration with our federal and industry partners.”

“Our poultry population is at high risk. Commercial operations and backyard flock owners should continue to follow strict biosecurity measures including keeping birds enclosed without access to wild birds or other domestic flocks,” said Martin. “If your flock is experiencing a sudden higher-than-normal mortality rate, report it right away to your local veterinarian, the N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services Veterinary Division, 919-707-3250, or the N.C. Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory System 919-733-3986.”