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News and analysis on the global poultry
and animal feed industries.
on August 6, 2009

Avian flu found in Minnesota turkeys

A varied strain of the flu virus is not a threat to the public.

An unidentified commercial turkey flock in central Minnesota has been quarantined by the Board of Animal Health after routine testing discovered a strain of the avian flu virus, labeled H7N9, according to an Associated Press news report.

Minnesota Board of Animal Health Assistant Director Dale Lauer stressed that the avian flu strain found at the Meeker County farm was different from the strain that has caused problems in birds and humans mostly in Asia.

Lauer, a veterinarian, went on to inform that the strain of virus found at the farm didn't pose a threat to the general public but could cause mild symptoms in poultry workers, including mild eye infections and mild respiratory problems.

According to him, the quarantined flock was showing no signs of illness, but if left unchecked the virus could morph into a form that could be more pathogenic to the state's commercial poultry flocks. Minnesota is the nation's top turkey producing state.

Surrounding poultry farms in a three-mile radius have also been quarantined and will undergo the same routine testing and observation as the primary site.

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