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Turkeys grown in a typical production barn (Harvest Public Media file photo)
Turkeys grown in a typical production barn (Harvest Public Media file photo)

Bird flu has returned to the Midwest, with the announcement Friday that a highly pathogenic H7N8 was found in an Indiana turkey farm, forcing the killing of 60,000 birds. Since then, the USDA reported that another nine cases of avian flu have been detected near the same area, although eight of those are low pathogenic and the ninth is still being tested.

An outbreak of avian flu that swept through the Midwest in 2015 spiked egg prices, more than doubling costs in some areas (Peggy Lowe/Harvest Public Media)
An outbreak of avian flu that swept through the Midwest in 2015 spiked egg prices, more than doubling costs in some areas (Peggy Lowe/Harvest Public Media)

A bird flu outbreak in the Midwest was announced Friday, confirming fears that the highly pathogenic virus could once again strike the U.S. egg and poultry industries.

The H7N8 virus was found in a large commercial turkey farm in Dubois County, Indiana, about 125 miles south of Indianapolis. This strain of avian flu is different than the one that swept through the country last year – that was highly pathogenic H5N8 – but scientists said its impact could be equivalent to the earlier strain.

“Regardless of what those numbers are, it is a highly pathogenic virus, which means it is a significant virus that does need an immediate response,” said T.J. Myers, associate deputy administrator of USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.

I took this with my iPhone while on assignment on Highway 59 in northern Missouri in late October. #harvest15
I took this with my iPhone while on assignment on Highway 59 in northern Missouri in late October. #harvest15

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