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Highly pathogenic avian influenza confirmed in Arkansas

The Arkansas Department of Agriculture has confirmed highly pathogenic avian influenza in a Madison County commercial poultry flock.

The farm, located in Northwest Arkansas, is one of the state’s top chicken and turkey production counties.  This is the first detection of HPAI in a commercial operation since 2015.  The detected virus is the highly pathogenic H5 type, which is more severe and can cause increased mortality in flocks.  The same strain has been confirmed in other states and wild birds in the Atlantic flyway.  

State veterinarian John Nilz says the farm is under quarantine, and the birds on the site were depopulated to prevent the spread of the disease.

Poultry owners are encouraged to increase biosecurity on their farms to prevent the spread of the disease. 

While the virus is deadly to poultry, there is no public health concern and avian influenza does not affect poultry meat or egg products, which remain safe to eat.  

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