CIDRAP — H7N8 detections at more Indiana farms suggest mutation

Lisa Schnirring | News Editor | CIDRAP News | Jan 19, 2016

Testing at nearby farms in the wake of a highly pathogenic H7N8 avian flu outbreak that struck a turkey facility in southern Indiana last week turned up a low-pathogenic version of the virus eight more farms, hinting that the virus mutated to a more lethal strain as it spread.

In a related development, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) warned that, because H7 viruses have infected people before, so human infections from the new strain could occur, though the risk to the general public is low.

Although many questions remain about the newly detected strain, tests show that Indiana’s H7N8 strain is a North American lineage virus, according to a Jan 15 report to the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE). Deaths at the Dubois County turkey producer prompted testing, and results were confirmed and announced on Jan 15

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