Two additional Johnston County turkey farms test positive for High Path Avian Flu

Other turkey farms discovered in the enhanced surveillance zone

JOHNSTON COUNTY – Two additional commercial turkey farms in Johnston County have tested positive for High Path Avian Influenza. These farms were identified during heightened surveillance following the first positive HPAI case and are located within the 10 kilometer or 6.2 mile area identified following this positive case.

The positive samples were identified by the North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory in Raleigh. The samples were sent to the USDA APHIS National Veterinary Services Laboratory in Ames, Iowa to confirm the positive result.

“The two additional flocks totaling approximately 28,500 turkeys are being depopulated and a 10-kilometer zone will be set up around these new sites to test nearby farms for the virus,” said state veterinarian Mike Martin. “Most of this new area will be within our original 10 kilometer area. As a state, we knew the risk of HPAI was high this season. We have seen other states with cases and have known since mid-January that it was present in our wild bird population.

“We continue to urge poultry owners to do their part by practicing strict biosecurity and immediately reporting sick or dying birds to your local veterinarian, the veterinary division of the Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. North, 919-707-3250, or North Carolina Veterinary Diagnostics. Lab System 919-733-3986. »

This type of HPAI virus is considered a low risk to humans according to the United States Centers for Disease Control, but is highly contagious to other birds, including commercial and backyard poultry. The virus is also not considered a threat to food security and infected birds do not enter the food supply. Depopulated herds are composted on site to prevent the spread of the virus.

Composting is the natural degradation of organic resources (such as poultry carcasses) by microorganisms. Composting is effective in killing a variety of diseases, including bird flu.

Avian flu can be inactivated in 10 minutes at 140ºF or 90 minutes at 133ºF. Microbial activity in a well constructed compost pile can generate and maintain temperatures ranging from 130ºF to 150ºF for several weeks, which is sufficient to inactivate the AI ​​virus. Composting is an approved disposal method because it contains disease and limits off-farm disease transmission, limits the risk of groundwater and air pollution, inactivates pathogens in carcasses and bedding, and helps limit public concern about exposure to disease.

For signs of avian flu, biosecurity tips and more information, go to

Sharon P. Juarez