A turkey flock in Virginia has tested positive for the Novel H1N1 2009 influenza virus, according to USDA. It is the first confirmed poultry-related infection of the virus.
According to USDA reports, four samples that were collected on Nov. 20 and one collected on Nov. 23, all tested positive in initial rapid screening tests. Upon further virus-isolation testing, one of those samples has been confirmed to date as Novel H1N1.
USDA received virus samples from the turkey breeder flock because the hens' egg production had dropped off.
"There is a possibility that a worker, who was sent home ill with flu-like symptoms, could have infected the turkeys as a result of the artificial insemination processes, as the worker was a member of the insemination crew," a USDA spokesperson told Meatingplace.com.
The Novel H1N1 virus has been confirmed in swine at the Minnesota State Fair this August and in an Indiana commercial swine herd in October.
As has been repeatedly proven and stated, Novel H1N1 influenza is a respiratory ailment and does not infect pork or poultry meat. It cannot be transmitted by eating pork or turkey.