Avian flu: 26 Minnesota farms, 1.6M birds affected

 

The United States Department of Agriculture announced Thursday that 4 more flocks confirmed positive with H5N2 avian flu in the following counties, two of which have their first flocks detected:

Ottertail (1st)
Roseau (1st)
Kandiyohi
Stearns (6th)

By the numbers

Farms affected: 26
Counties affected: 14
Birds affected: Over 1.6 million
MDH has followed up with 23 flocks
People involved in care of those 23: 77
People advised to take Tamiflu: 56
People who agreed to take Tamiflu: 39
10-day monitoring period complete: 5 flocks

Number of flocks by county

Cottonwood: 1
Kandiyohi: 5
Lac Qui Parle: 1
Le Sueur: 1
Lyon: 1
Meeker: 3
Nobles: 1
Ottertail: 1
Pope: 1
Redwood: 1
Roseau: 1
Stearns: 6
Swift: 2
Watonwan: 1

All affected farms are under quarantine.

No humans infected

The Minnesota Department of Health reported no human infections with this strain of the virus (H5N2) have been detected in Minnesota or elsewhere in the U.S. In some cases, however, HPAI H5 viruses can infect people.

"In general, avian influenza viruses are spread to people through direct contact with infected birds or their environments, including contaminated bedding, feed or water. Person-to-person spread of avian influenza viruses is rare and limited.

This is not a public health risk or a food safety risk. The potential risk is for those who have direct contact with infected birds," the Minnesota Board of Animal Health said in a release.

MDH is monitoring the health of workers and helping to control potential infection. They recommend those who have had close, unprotected contact with infected flocks to receive Tamiflu, and antiviral drug.

Food safety

All poultry identified with HPAI cannot enter a marketplace by law, but there is no evidence that people can acquire avian influenza by eating poultry products.

What about the wild turkeys?

The Minnesota DNR has collected 768 fecal samples from wild waterfowl and plans to collect 3,000 samples in total, including 1,500 from five areas around infected domestic flocks and 1,500 from public lands.

Waterfowl are a natural reservoir for the virus, but none of the DNR samples have tested positive, the Board of Animal Health said.

The DNR is asking the public to send the agency reports of sick or dead waterfowl, wild turkeys or birds of prey. The agency will test any of suspect birds for the virus. Do not touch or move a dead bird to minimize any potential risk of unintentionally spreading the virus if the animal is infected. Mark the location by GPS if possible and report it. Contact numbers and the procedure are online at www.mndnr.gov/avianinfluenza


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