Highly pathogenic H5N2 avian influenza was confirmed by the USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) on April 8 in a commercial turkey flock of 310,000 in Meeker County, Minnesota. This marks the first confirmed case of avian influenza in Meeker County, but the ninth in Minnesota.
This is also the largest Minnesota commercial turkey operation to have been infected with avian influenza to date. Previously, the largest flock infected in the state – located in Stearns County – had a population of about 76,000 turkeys.
The flock had been experiencing increased mortality, and samples from the turkey flock were tested at the University of Minnesota Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory and the APHIS National Veterinary Services Laboratories in Ames, Iowa confirmed the findings.
State officials quarantined the premises and birds on the property will be depopulated to prevent the spread of the virus.
Previous cases of avian influenza in Minnesota turkeys have been confirmed in the counties of Kandiyohi, Stearns, Pope, Nobles and Lac qui Parle. Commercial turkey flocks in California, South Dakota, Missouri, Kansas and Arkansas have also been confirmed to have been infected with avian influenza.
The Minnesota Department of Health is working directly with poultry workers at the affected facility to ensure that they are taking the proper precautions.
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