May 3, 2016 / 4:52 PM / 4 years ago

U.S. kills 39,000 turkeys in outbreak of mild bird flu -OIE

CHICAGO, May 3 (Reuters) - U.S. authorities destroyed 39,000 turkeys in Missouri due to an outbreak of a mild form of avian flu, the World Organization for Animal Health said on Tuesday.

Authorities also have begun a quarantine and taken surveillance measures around the Missouri farm that was hit with the H5N1 strain of the virus late last month, according to a notice from the organization known as the OIE.

The strain is considered low pathogenic, meaning it is not as contagious or deadly as other varieties of the disease, the notice said.

Last year, almost 50 million chickens and turkeys died in the United States because they were infected with a fast-moving outbreak of highly pathogenic bird flu or culled to contain the disease.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Missouri Department of Agriculture are investigating the infection in Missouri, according to the OIE.

Officials from the USDA and the Missouri Department of Agriculture did not immediately respond to requests for comment. (Reporting by Tom Polansek; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn)

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