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Two New Outbreaks of High-path Avian Flu in Minnesota Turkeys

30 March 2015

US - Two new outbreaks have been confirmed of highly pathogenic H5N2 avian influenza in a commercial turkey flock in the counties of Lac Qui Parle and Stearns in Minnesota.

On 27 March, the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) confirmed the presence of highly pathogenic H5N2 avian influenza (HPAI) in a commercial turkey flock in Lac Qui Parle County, Minnesota. This is the second confirmation in a commercial flock in Minnesota. The flock of 66,000 turkeys is located within the Mississippi flyway where this strain of avian influenza was previously identified.

The following day, APHIS confirmed the presence of the same virus another commercial flock of 39,000 turkeys, this time in Stearns County, Minnesota.

Both outbreaks are located within the Mississippi flyway where this strain of avian influenza has previously been identified. CDC considers the risk to people from these HPAI H5 infections in wild birds, backyard flocks and commercial poultry, to be low. No human infections with the virus have been detected at this time.

Samples from the turkey flocks, which experienced increased mortality, were tested at the University of Minnesota Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory and the APHIS National Veterinary Services Laboratories in Ames, Iowa confirmed the findings. APHIS is working closely with the Minnesota Board of Animal Health on a joint incident response. State officials quarantined the affected premises and birds on the property will be depopulated to prevent the spread of the disease. Birds from the flock will not enter the food system.

The Minnesota Department of Health is working directly with poultry workers at the affected facility to ensure that they are taking the proper precautions. As a reminder, the proper handling and cooking of poultry and eggs to an internal temperature of 165°F kills bacteria and viruses.

As part of existing avian influenza response plans, Federal and State partners are working jointly on additional surveillance and testing in the nearby area. 

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) considers the risk to people from these HPAI H5 infections in wild birds, backyard flocks and commercial poultry, to be low.

Further Reading

You can visit the Avian Flu page by clicking here.

ThePoultrySite News Desk





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