H5N2 low pathogenic avian influenza confirmed in Kandiyohi County commercial turkey flock

MINNESOTA, USA: Strain is not the same virus that caused 2015 outbreak; does not pose risk to public health or food safety
calendar icon 26 October 2018
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The Minnesota Board of Animal Health has confirmed a case of H5N2 low pathogenic avian influenza (H5N2 LPAI) in a commercial turkey flock in Kandiyohi County. The disease was detected during routine surveillance testing of the flock of 10,000 13-week-old turkey toms on October 19. This farm includes an additional three barns housing 10,000 birds each, all of which have tested negative. This is not the same virus that was the cause of the highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) outbreak in the Midwest in 2015.

H5N2 LPAI does not pose a risk to the public, and there is no food safety concern for consumers.

The Board of Animal Health is working with all federal, state and industry partners to prevent the spread of the disease. Poultry producers are asked to maintain strong biosecurity practices at their facilities to isolate their flocks from outside sources of infection.

Tracheal swab samples were collected from turkeys and submitted to the Minnesota Poultry Testing Laboratory (MPTL) in Willmar, Minnesota. Tests identified the virus as an H5 influenza strain. The Board of Animal Health quarantined the flock and sent samples to the USDA National Veterinary Services Laboratory (NVSL) in Ames, Iowa. The NVSL confirmed the presence of H5N2 low pathogenic avian influenza (LPAI) virus of North American origin on October 20.

The Board of Animal Health has increased observation of the quarantined flock, watching for any signs of disease, and has increased surveillance of commercial poultry operations within 10 kilometers of the positive flock, all with negative test results. At this time, the affected flock is not showing signs of illness or mortality. The birds will be quarantined until they test negative for disease, at which time they will be controlled marketed.

Turkey producers and farmers who have questions should contact Dr. Linda Glaser, Assistant Executive Director, Minnesota Board of Animal Health, [email protected], 651-201-6828.

Ryan Johnson

Editor at The Poultry Site

Ryan worked in conservation from 2008 to 2017, during which time he operated a rainbow trout hatchery and helped to maintain public and protected green spaces in Canada for the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority. As editor of The Poultry Site, he now writes about challenges and opportunities in agriculture across the globe.

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