U.S. finds first case of deadly bird flu in poultry since June

CHICAGO An Indiana turkey flock has been infected with a deadly type of bird flu in the first new case of the disease in U.S. poultry since June, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said on Friday.

The flock in Dubois County, Indiana, was infected with a strain known as H7N8, which is different from strains that caused more than 48 million chickens and turkeys to die last year, according to the USDA.

Indiana officials quarantined the farm with the infected turkeys and the birds are being killed to prevent the spread of the disease, the USDA said.

The outbreak will likely cause new restrictions on U.S. poultry exports.

Last year’s outbreak cost exporters millions of dollars in lost business as trading partners limited deals from states and counties with infected flocks. Some countries, such as China, halted all imports of U.S. poultry.

The 2015 outbreak also sent U.S. egg prices to record highs and tightened supplies of turkey meat.

Birds from the Indiana turkey flock will not enter the food system, according to the USDA. There are no known cases of H7N8 infections in humans, the department said.

The Indiana Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory at Purdue University tested samples from flock, and the USDA confirmed the turkeys were infected with bird flu.

The virus is thought to be spread by wild ducks, which can carry the disease without becoming infected and transmit it to poultry through feces and feathers.

(Reporting by Tom Polansek; Editing by Franklin Paul and Alan Crosby)

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