The Bird Flu Has Returned to Minnesota
St. Paul, MN (KROC-AM News) - A predicted resurgence of the bird flu in Minnesota may be underway.
The Minnesota Board of Animal Health today reported that testing has confirmed the presence of Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza in a commercial turkey flock in Meeker County. The testing was ordered after the owner of the flock reported an increase in deaths among the birds. State officials say the flock was immediately quarantined and has since been "depopulated" in an effort to halt the spread of the virus
“While the timing of this detection is a bit sooner than we anticipated, we have been preparing for a resurgence of the avian influenza we dealt with this spring,” said Senior Veterinarian Dr. Shauna Voss. “HPAI is here and biosecurity is the first line of defense to protect your birds.”
A 10-kilometer control area has been established around the Meeker County flock. Local and state health officials are identifying all the commercial and backyard poultry flocks in the zone so they can be quarantined and undergo routine surveillance for the bird flu.
The disease was last detected in Minnesota in May. The spring outbreak led to the detection of more than 80 infected sites in 26 counties after the Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza strain was first detected in the state in late March. The state's response to the outbreak included euthanizing more than 31 million turkeys and chickens. None of the infected sites were in Olmsted County, but a commercial flock in Dodge County and a backyard flock in Mower County were "depopulated" after the bird flu strain was detected.