Bird flu discovered on Minn. turkey farm

Bird flu discovered on Minn. turkey farm
Oct 25, 2018

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The Minnesota Board of Animal Health detected the disease on Oct. 19

By Diego Flammini
Staff Writer
Farms.com

Turkeys on a Kandiyohi County, Minn. farm have tested positive for a strain of avian influenza.

The Minnesota Board of Animal Health (MBAH) discovered the H5N2 low pathogenic strain of bird flu (H5N2 LPAI) on Oct. 19 while conducting routine testing of a flock of 10,000 13-week-old toms.

Officials tested three other barns on the farm. Each barn contained another 10,000 turkeys. Tests from those barns came back negative.

The MBAH has quarantined the infected flock and increased surveillance of commercial farms within 6.2 miles of the original farm.

“We continue to monitor the infected farm to track how much of the virus is still present,” Dr. Shauna Voss, senior veterinarian at the MBAH’s poultry testing facility, told Farms.com. “We have done testing in the surrounding area as well. Those results, at this point, appear to be negative.”

The producer should be able to market their flock normally once the H5N2 strain disappears from the farm, Voss said.

H5N2 “is not the same virus that was the cause of the highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) outbreak in the Midwest in 2015,” the agency said in a statement Tuesday.

This is the first outbreak in Minnesota since 2015, Voss said. About 36 million U.S. birds, including about 5 million turkeys, died from that event, the USDA says.

Symptoms of HPAI include sudden death, a lack of energy and loss of appetite. But poultry infected with the H5N2 may not show symptoms.

“The birds aren’t sick (and) the birds aren’t dying, but yet they have this virus that they’re exposed to,” Dr. Linda Glaser, assistant executive director of the MBAH, told WNAX yesterday.

Farms.com has reached out to Minnesota Turkey for more information.

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