The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal & Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) has confirmed the presence of highly pathogenic H5N2 avian influenza (HPAI) in a commercial turkey flock in Lac Qui Parle County, Minn. This is the second confirmation in a commercial flock in Minnesota. The flock of 66,000 turkeys is located within the Mississippi flyway where this strain of avian influenza was previously identified.
CDC considers the risk to people from these HPAI H5 infections in wild birds, backyard flocks and commercial poultry, to be low. No human infections with the virus have been detected at this time.
Samples from the turkey flock, which experienced increased mortality, were tested at the University of Minnesota Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory and the APHIS National Veterinary Services Laboratories in Ames, Iowa confirmed the findings. APHIS is working closely with the Minnesota Board of Animal Health on a joint incident response. State officials quarantined the affected premises and birds on the property will be depopulated to prevent the spread of the disease. Birds from the flock will not enter the food system.
The Minnesota Department of Health is working directly with poultry workers at the affected facility to ensure that they are taking the proper precautions. As a reminder, the proper handling and cooking of poultry and eggs to an internal temperature of 165°F kills bacteria and viruses.
There are no other commercial turkey operations in a roughly 12 mile radius around the infected farm, Minnesota state veterinarian Bill Hartmann told the StarTribune, adding that state officials do not believe the virus spread from the earlier Pope County, Minn., outbreak. "There is no apparent connection between this flock and the one in Pope County," Hartmann said.