October 19, 2017

Third Minnesota Turkey Farm Hit with H5N2 Bird Flu

Birds at a third turkey farm in Minnesota have been diagnosed with the bird flu. The UsDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service confirms that the highly pathogenic H5N2 avian influenza strain was discovered in a commercial turkey flock in Sterns County, Minnesota.

Raw Whole TurkeyUnfortunately, this flock of 38,000 turkeys is within the Mississippi flyway. No human infections with the virus have been detected at this time, and the CDC considers the risk to people is low. The farm is now quarantined, and the remaining birds will be destroyed and kept out of the consumer food supply.

The Minnesota Department of Health is working with poultry workers at the facility to make sure they are taking proper precautions to avoid spreading this disease. The MDH also reminds consumers that poultry and eggs should always be cooked to a final internal temperature of 165°F to kill bacteria and viruses. Always wash hands thoroughly with soap and water after handling raw poultry and raw eggs. And avoid cross-contamination between raw poultry and eggs and foods that will be eaten uncooked.

The USDA is informing the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) and international trade partners of this outbreak. OIE trade guidelines call on countries to base trade restrictions on science.

The Minnesota Board of Animal Health is monitoring the situation. All poultry premises in the control area in Stearns County have been identified. There are 60 backyard flocks in that area. Fifty-eight of those have been tested and placed under quarantine. There are also quarantines on flocks in Lac Qui Parle county and Pope county, where H5N2 outbreaks were discovered.

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