March 29, 2023

Avian Influenza Discovered in Minnesota Turkey Flock

The USDA has confirmed the presence of “highly pathogenic” H5N2 avian influenza in a commercial turkey flock in Pope County, Minnesota. This is the same strain that was found in backyard and wild birds in Washington, Oregon, and Idaho.

Live turkeySamples from the turkey breeder replacement flock were tested at the University of Minnesota Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory and APHIS National Veterinary Services Labs in Ames, Iowa. State officials have quarantined the premises and poultry barns within a 10-mile radius around the farm. The remaining birds on the property will be destroyed. Birds from the flock will not enter the food system. Almost 15,000 turkeys were destroyed; an additional 29,000 will be killed. A qua

The CDC considers the risk to people to be low. No human infections have been detected at this time. But the government warns consumers to make sure that poultry and eggs be cooked to an internal temperature of 165°F, as measured  by a food thermometer, to kill bacteria and viruses.

The virus can be in birds and they may not look sick. Always avoid contact with sick or dead poultry or wildlife. If you do touch any sick or dead animals, wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water and change clothing before you come into contact with healthy poultry and birds.

This is the first time this strain has been detected in the Mississippi flyway. More than 40 countries have already banned the import of Minnesota turkeys because of this outbreak.

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