RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – A flock of 32,100 birds were euthanized at a Johnston County commercial turkey farm after the avian flu was discovered at the facility, the state agricultural department said on Wednesday.

Since January, the high path avian flu virus has been found in 48 commercial farms in 12 states and 32 backyard flocks in 13 states.

The North Carolina Department of Agriculture said this is the first case of high path avian influenza in domestic poultry in North Carolina.

State Veterinarian Mike Martin said the flock was “depopulated” quickly after the positive test results.

“Under HPAI protocols, we will be actively testing other flocks within the 10 kilometer zone or about 6.2 miles in collaboration with our federal and industry partners,” Martin said.

That zone includes Johnston County and portions of Sampson and Wayne counties.

“Our poultry population is at high risk. Commercial operations and backyard flock owners should continue to follow strict biosecurity measures including keeping birds enclosed without access to wild birds or other domestic flocks,” Martin said.

This HPAI has a low risk to people, the CDC said.

The warning signs of HPAI include:

  • Reduced energy, decreased appetite, and/or decreased activity
  • Lower egg production and/or soft-shelled or misshapen eggs
  • Swelling of the head, eyelids, comb and wattles
  • Purple discoloration of the wattles, comb and legs
  • Difficulty breathing, runny nares (nose), and/or sneezing
  • Twisting of the head and neck, stumbling, falling down, tremors and/or circling
  • Greenish diarrhea