The USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) has confirmed the presence of highly pathogenic H5N2 avian influenza (HPAI) in an additional eight commercial turkey flocks in Minnesota. There are now 22 total confirmed cases in Minnesota.
"State officials quarantined the premises and birds on the property will be depopulated to prevent the spread of the disease," the Minnesota Board of Animal Health said. "Birds from the flock will not enter the food system."
According to officials, these flocks are within the Mississippi flyway where this strain of avian influenza has previously been identified.
The risk to people continues to remain low, and there have been no human infections with the virus detected at this time.
"The Minnesota Department of Health is working directly with poultry workers at the affected facility to ensure that they are taking the proper precautions," the Minnesota Board of Animal Health said.
Affected Minnesota flocks are in:
Kandiyohi County – 30,000 turkeys (4th detection in the county)
La Sueur County – 21,500 turkeys (1st detection in the county)
Meeker County – 25,000 turkeys (2nd detection in the county)
Meeker County – 20,000 turkeys (3rd detection in the county)
Stearns County – 76,000 turkeys (5th detection in the county)
Swift County – 160,000 turkeys (1st detection in the county)
Swift County – 154,000 turkeys (2nd detection in the county)
Redwood County – 56,000 turkeys (1st detection in the county)
- The proper handling and cooking of poultry and eggs to an internal temperature of 165 °F kills bacteria and viruses.
- These virus strains can travel in wild birds without them appearing sick.
- People should avoid contact with sick/dead poultry or wildlife.
- If contact occurs, wash your hands with soap and water and change clothing before having any contact with healthy domestic poultry and birds.
- All bird owners, whether commercial producers or backyard enthusiasts, should continue to practice good biosecurity, prevent contact between their birds and wild birds, and report sick birds or unusual bird deaths to State/Federal officials, either through their state veterinarian or through USDA's toll-free number1-866-536-7593.
- Additional information on biosecurity for backyard flocks can be found at http://healthybirds.aphis.usda.gov.