Agriculture officials have confirmed the presence of a highly pathogenic avian influenza in a commercial turkey flock in South Carolina.

USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) reported that the H7N3 strain was confirmed by the National Veterinary Services Laboratories in Ames, Iowa.  Samples from the farm in Chesterfield County in the southwest part of the state first tested at the Clemson Veterinary Diagnostic Center.

The virus is believed to have mutated from a less virulent strain that was recently found in the state, according to APHIS.

The farm has been quarantined and the birds depopulated, state said.

This is the first confirmed case of a highly pathogenic avian flu in a U.S. commercial poultry flock in three years.

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