December 14, 2017

Now 14 Turkey Farms in MN Diagnosed with Bird Flu

Fourteen turkey farms in Minnesota, and an egg-laying facility in Wisconsin, have now been confirmed with the highly pathogenic H5N2 avian influenza, or bird flu. The 14th farm was confirmed today. At leasts 900,000 turkeys in the state have been euthanized as a result of this outbreak. No human infections with the virus have ben detected at this time.

turkey-farm-usdaThe newly affected flocks are in Kandiyohi County, Cottonwood County, Lyon County, Stearns County, and Watonwan County. These farms have been quarantined, meaning movement of poultry and poultry-moving equipment has been restricted. The flocks will be euthanized, and the region will be monitored. The farms will be disinfected, and tested until the farms are confirmed to be free of the virus.

In Wisconsin, the USDA has confirmed that more than 180,000 chickens at an egg-laying facility in southeast Wisconsin has been infected. The facility was quarantined, and neighboring properties with poultry will be notified. Workers who may have been exposed to the virus are being monitored.

These viruses can travel in wild birds and they may not appear to be sick. Always avoid contact with sick or dead poultry and wildlife. If you do touch them, wash your hands with soap and water and change clothing before you come into contact with healthy domestic poultry and birds.

This virus originated in Asia and spread along wild bird migratory pathways during 2014. In the Pacific flyway, the virus mixed with North American avian influenza viruses, created new mixed-origin viruses. These new viruses contain the Asian origin H5 part of the virus, and the N2 part from the North American strain.

The USDA has said that the CDC states that the risk to people from these H5N2 infections is low. However, the do remind consumers to make sure they take precautions when working with raw turkey and chicken. Always cook poultry and eggs to a final internal temperature of 165°F as measured by a food thermometer to kill bacteria and viruses.

 

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