by Marie Kauna – EMTV Online, Port Moresby
A new type of bird flu has been found at an Indiana poultry farm in U.S.A.
The new virus called H7N8 was identified by the U.S Department of Agriculture and is currently under testing to determine its pathogenicity.
The new strain H7N8 has been found in wild birds, mostly ducks in the country, but is described to be a low pathogenic strain that doesn’t make the birds sick.
Farmers at the poultry were isolated before all the birds were slaughtered to avoid the spread of the virus to other facilities.
The testing is currently conducted at the National Veterinary Services Laboratory in Ames.
Dr T.J Myers, an associate deputy administrator of the USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Services said the new bird flu virus H7N8 is significant and does need an immediate response to contain it and prevent it from spreading to other facilities.
Although avian influenza vaccines for poultry are available, the U.S doesn’t have an H7N8 vaccine highlighting whether the existing vaccines will match this new identified strains.
While tests are ongoing, no cases of HPAI H7N8 virus infection in humans were reported.
USDA with other concerned organisations are working together to monitor the virus.