A low-pathogenic strain of avian influenza was detected at a commercial broiler breeder farm in Hopkins County, Texas, the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) reported. The latest detection of H7N1 is the second in 2018.

The H7N1 virus was discovered during routine, pre-slaughter testing and surveillance for H5/H7 avian influenza strains. The OIE said partial HA sequencing determined the virus to be a low pathogenic virus of North American wild bird lineage. Roughly 24,000 birds at the farm were exposed, according to OIE.

“The flock exhibited a slight increase in mortality and a decrease in egg production,” OIE said. “Depopulation of the premises is underway. The USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) and the Texas Animal Health Commission are conducting a comprehensive epidemiological investigation of this incident and have implemented enhanced surveillance and testing within 10 km of this finding.”

The first finding in 2018 of H7N1 occurred at a commercial turkey farm in Jasper County, Missouri, and was confirmed on March 3. There were no signs of illness or an increase in turkey deaths reported at the farm. At least 20,000 birds were culled through controlled marketing, which allows poultry infected with or exposed to low-pathogenic avian influenza (LPAI) to be moved to market ona  limited basis.

LPAI causes only minor illness in birds, whereas high-pathogenic (HPAI) strains of the virus can spread rapidly and result in high death rates in bird flocks.

OIE was also notified this week of two new H7N3 highly pathogenic avian influenza breakouts in Mexico in the states of Guanajuato and Queretaro. These two avian flu events started on February 12, eight months after the last onset of the disease.

Meanwhile, Chinese officials have suspended imports of poultry meat with the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) citing confirmations of low-pathogenic H7N1 bird flu in Texas, H5N3 in France and highly pathogenic H7N3 in two states in Mexico for it’s action.

Hong Kong imported about 290,000 tones of chilled and frozen poultry meat and 580 million poultry eggs from U.S. sources in 2017, according to a HKSAR spokesperson.