BOAH, Avian Flu Responders Withdraw From Fairgrounds

BOAHJASPER (NNDC) – The Indiana State Board of Animal Health (BOAH) personnel, along with federal and contractor equipment and staff, have been withdrawn from the Dubois County Fairgrounds. The fairgrounds were used as a home base and staging area for their work during the avian influenza outbreak in Dubois County.

The process of withdrawal included cleaning (power-washing) and disinfection of all buildings that were utilized for response. This is standard procedure to ensure no virus particles are present.

A memo from Indiana State Veterinarian Brett D. Marsh states, “BOAH is extremely grateful to the Dubois County Fair Board and Extension team for your willingness to support our avian influenza response activities. The facility was exactly what we needed, when we needed it, and had a direct and significant impact on our and USDA’S ability to respond. Thank you”

A scaled-down supply of response gear has been retained and stored at another site, should it be needed again.

The memo also contained two points about the H7N8 influenza virus:

  • This does not pose a food safety hazard; properly cooked egg and poultry products are safe to eat, and,
  • The U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has stated that this virus has never been associated with human cases in the United States or the world.

BOAH reports that use of the fairgrounds for activities with people, pets, livestock, and even birds can – and should – continue as normal. Use of the grounds and facilities for response presents no risk of infection with this flu virus to humans and animals that will subsequently visit the grounds.

BOAH say it has no plans to suspend poultry shows and fairs this year. Therefore, planning summer events should proceed as usual, in anticipation of a normal fair season.

Additional information about avian influenza and response efforts can be found at www.boah.in.gov.

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