SANPETE COUNTY, Utah (ABC4) — Over 140,000 turkeys have died or been depopulated as an outbreak of avian flu affects turkey farmers in central Utah.
Officials confirmed the the diagnosis of highly pathogenic avian influenza, or more commonly known as avian flu, on a turkey farm in Sapete County on Friday, Oct. 6. Officials said they have been working closely with the United States Department of Agriculture‘s Animal and Plant Inspection Service on an incident response.
As part of the response, the area where the birds were located has been quarantined. Infected birds have been depopulated to help prevent any more spread of the disease. However, officials confirmed with ABC4 that the avian flu outbreak has already infected at least 142,000 birds.
“It is unfortunate to see new cases of avian flu in Utah again this year and affecting Utah’s turkey farmers,” said Utah Department of Agriculture and Food State Veterinarian Daniel Christensen. “Our department is working hard to help this farm handle this situation as quickly and safely as possible.”
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said the recent detections of avian flu do not pose an immediate threat to humans and there are no public health concerns. Still, as a precaution, the public is reminded to safely handle all poultry and eggs, cooking them to an internal temperature of 165 degrees.
Anyone with birds in the Sanpete County area is asked to “vigilantly watch” their flocks for avian flu symptoms. Symptoms can include high death counts among flocks, nasal discharge, decreased appetite or water consumption, and lack of coordination in birds. If your flock is experiencing any of these symptoms, contact the state veterinarian’s office at email@example.com.