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Bird flu found at third Elkhart County duck farm

A duck farm in Taiwan.
MiNe (sfmine79)
Wikimedia Commons
A duck farm in Taiwan.

State officials say avian influenza has been detected at a third duck farm in northern Indiana.

The State Board of Animal Health said Monday that laboratory testing of a commercial duck flock in Elkhart County has come back as presumptively positive for the virus.

Avian flu was first detected in the county earlier this month, and a second farm tested positive last week. The flocks numbered around 4,500, 6,000 and 6,500 birds, respectively.

The agency says the most recent samples are being verified at the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Veterinary Services Laboratory in Iowa.

Hobby poultry owners in Elkhart County can call (317) 544-2387 to schedule free testing of their flocks.

NPR reports that around 24 million poultry birds nationwide have been lost due to the outbreak, either killed by the virus or culled to prevent its spread. Zoos across North America — including the Potawatomi Zoo — are moving birds indoors to protect them from the flu.

According to the USDA, the outbreak has also driven average egg prices to around $3 a dozen — nearly double the April 2021 average.

So far, the risk of human infection seems low — NPR reports that the only person known to have contracted this strain of bird flu was an elderly person in the United Kingdom who tested positive in January 2022 but lived in close quarters with ducks and reported no symptoms.

The Centers for Disease Control is monitoring the situation, and said in March that the H5N1 strain poses a low risk to the public.

WVPE's Jakob Lazzaro contributed reporting to this article.

Contact Gemma at or follow her on Twitter at @gemma_dicarlo.

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Gemma DiCarlo came to Indiana by way of Athens, Georgia. She graduated from the University of Georgia in 2020 with a degree in Journalism and certificates in New Media and Sustainability. She has radio experience from her time as associate producer of Athens News Matters, the flagship public affairs program at WUGA-FM.