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Outbreak Numbers Holding Steady In Avian Flu-Ridden Dubois County

Jessica Reeder

Since Saturday, there have been no new cases in the Dubois County avian flu outbreak. The investigation area was expanded an additional 6 miles from the origin with additional testing for birds within that radius.

As of Tuesday evening, a spokesperson for Indiana’s Joint Information Center confirmed that approximately 413,000 birds have been, or are in the process of being euthanized. Of the birds, about 62 percent are turkeys. The rest are chickens that, while not infected, were considered to be in “dangerous contact” with an infected turkey flock.

Local turkey farmers Ann Denu and her husband have felt the strain of the past few days. While their turkeys tested negative for the H7N8 virus, Denu says the outbreak has taken a toll.

“We’ve had disease before and we’ve come out of it, but this is way more devastating,” Denu says. “I mean, it really is, you know, your livelihood. It’s how we eat, how we send our kids to school, you know what I mean? It’s scary.”

As temperatures drop and snow is forecast, workers are testing flocks and euthanizing those that are affected. The surveillance will continue for at least 21 days after the last positive test for the avian flu virus is reported before this outbreak is declared over. 

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